Conflicts That Exist in The Play Fences.

This assignment focuses on your ability to: create effective thesis statements; synthesize research, text support, and personal analyses into a cohesive essay; defend an argument; properly citie researched material in APA format. The purpose of completing this assignment is: as a student, career professional, and individual, learning how to defend your side of an argument with data, experience, and valid information is of paramount importance. As a student at Post, use this assignment to master the objectives listed above, particularly APA citation and reference page formatting. You need to know APA and argumentation techniques! Prompt (what will you be writing about): • Which conflict does Wilson use most to drive (bring forth, move forward) all the other elements of the story? Choose ONE that you feel is more apparent and easier to defend than the others. o Troy vs Society o Troy vs Himself o Troy vs Family o Troy vs Death Instructions (how to get it done): • You have completed research on August Wilson, his life, and his plays. • You have completed reading/viewing Fences by August Wilson. • You have read the resources on Conflict in this unit. • Choose the conflict area that you think will have the strongest text support. • Create a thesis statement that clearly states your stance on why this conflict is the driving force of the play and how you’re going to prove it (see “Helpful Hints” section below). • Research needed sources so that you have at least 3 outside sources that are valid and reliable. • Be sure also to include text examples from the Fences, the play. • Defend your thesis in an introduction, at least three supporting sections, and a conclusion. • Check in with your instructor with any and all questions. Requirements: • Length and format: 3-4 pages. • You should have at least three outside sources plus text examples from the play. • The title page and reference page are also required, but they should not be factored into the 3-4 page length of the essay. • It should also be double spaced, written in Times New Roman, in 12 point font and with 1 inch margins. The essay should conform to APA formatting and citation style. • Use the third-person, objective voice, avoiding personal pronouns such as “I,” “you,” “we,” etc. • Use APA format for in-text citations and references when using outside sources and textual evidence. • Please be cautious about plagiarism. Make sure to use in-text citations for direct quotes, paraphrases, and new information. Helpful Notes: • Thesis: o Your thesis is the response to the prompt question plus the supporting areas that you will be using to defend your argument. Be sure to have a thesis that clearly states which conflict you feel is the most important and drives the other conflicts. o Your thesis could begin with, “In the play, Fences, August Wilson uses the conflict of to drive the other conflicts and elements of the story as evidenced by…. • Sources and evidence: o Be sure to use things that you have learned about Wilson’s life and his writings. For example, if you are analyzing Troy and his father’s conflict, you could bring in information that you researched about Wilson’s relationship with his own father. o Include direct quotations from the play. To cite a direct quote from a play, the format is:  “quotation” (Wilson,1985, act #, scene #, line #). OR  As Wilson (1985) writes, “quote” (act#, scene #, line#). o Use at least three outside sources. Two of them could be from your previous research essay. Be sure to include all of these in your reference page. Source: Fences by August Wilson (pages 1270-1331)

The Play Fences

                                                                Name of Student   

Institutional Affiliation


The conflict between Troy and Himself


August Wilson’s play Fences explores the lives of the Maxson family with Troy Maxson the head of the family being bitter about his thwarted dreams of becoming a professional baseball player. The bitterness and self-created illusions create a lot of tension in his family. Rose who is the wife to Troy, tries in several instances to hold the family together regardless of all the tension and conflict in the family. The conflict existing between Troy and his family especially his son Cory is a reflection of the relationship between August Wilson and his father, August officially erased his connection with his birth father when he adopted his mother’s name in the 1970s. The main conflict in the play Fences involves Tory and family, and this affects more specifically his son Cory. Cory struggles to have a relationship with his father after he denies him a chance to make a career out of football. (Wilson, 2016) It is a battle between two generations and in the play, Fences, August Wilson uses the conflict of Troy and family to drive the other conflicts and elements of the story as evidenced by the conflict that ensues when Cory comes at the house to borrow ten dollars on Troy’s payday.

Conflicts That Exist in The Play Fences.

Personal Analysis and Synthesis

The conflict mostly comes from the generational differences between Troy and his son, while Troy has faced so many hardships in life as well as racism and he believes that his son is blind to the harshness of society on blacks hence ultimately reacts in scrutiny to his son Lyon wanting to borrow some money. Cory, on the other hand, is part of a new generation of blacks who are ambitious and believe that they can make something for themselves in an opportunistic world. Troy’s son Cory in contrast to his father believes that he and his father have different methods of handling the world and even though he quickly pays back the money he borrowed, he wishes he had a closer relationship with his father, but his father’s naïve attitude and bitter words make this very difficult. (Headley, 2016) Troy also tries to make himself appear more engaging than he is as evident in act one, scene one when he tells the story of how he met Rose “baby, I don’t want to marry, I just want to be your man.” Troy is just telling lies, and this soils his relationship with his wife who doesn’t want him to be fake being an audacious man. The cause of the bad relationships in the Maxson family is mainly caused by the bitterness and hardships that Troy had faced in his life.

Moreover, Troy’s lack of commitment in putting up the fence around their house shows how he is not committed in his married, and this, in turn, reflects on the relationship he has with his family. He cannot understand that his wife Rose is trying to keep the family close because he never truly had a close family. (Beach, 2017) It is seen when Bono says in act 2, scene 1 that some people build fences to keep people out… and other people build fences to keep people in, fences in this perspective imply that Rose wants to hold on to her family, but for Troy, it is the opposite. Troy also damages his relationship with his their son Lyon by refusing to hear him play his Chinese music and all these conflicts concerning family relationships drive all the other conflicts in the play because Troy’s family receives the impact of his bitterness and acts as the foundation of most of the other conflicts in the play. The conflict between Troy and his son could have probably been influenced by the not so good relationship that August Wilson had with his father that made him adopt his mother’s name and drop all connections with his father. Through these blurred relationships that Troy has with his family members gives a sense of Troy’s ability to control his fate and this diminishes throughout the play, and it fuels other elements of conflict in the play.


All the conflicts that exist in the play stem from the conflicts that exist in the Maxson family relating the how Troy relates to a different family member, including his son Troy ad his Wife Rose among others. The writer August Wilson also never had a good relationship with his birth father and it can be noted that he had wished the relationship with his father was better and closer. Many of his writings portray an image of family conflict especially father-son relationship, and he may have been hurt by his parents’ divorce. The death of Troy leaves several negative attributes to his family to accept and sort out as well as the soiled relationships with several family members. The conflict between family members can lead to tension in the family, and this boosts naivety and bitterness that could have been affecting individual family member such as evidenced in the life of Troy Maxson.

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Beach, R. (2017). Making sense of events in literature through rewriting narrative events. English Journal106(5), 52.

Headley, O. (2016). ” Fences” by August Wilson. A reflective essay on conflict, family, and family therapy. GRIN Verlag.

Wilson, A. (2016). Fences (Vol. 6). Penguin.

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