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Sunday, 30 September 2007

Fences by August Wilson


Here's the blog for August Wilson's Fences.  As with the previous blog, your task will be to respond to the questions posted here, and then I'd like for each of you to pick one or two responses from your peer and respond to that response--a sort of discussion if you will.




1.  Style:  Each play follows a particular style.  The majority of plays are divided into acts and scenes; others are not.  Within style, we can look at the setting of a play.  The setting includes the time, the place, and the culture within which the action occurs.  Another aspect of style includes conflict and metaphor.  For this question, discuss the conflict in Fences and metaphors you see present in the play.

2.  Consider the year in which Fences is set (1957).  Discuss the following cultural/social issues in America and their connection with the play.

Professional Athletics





3.  Troy cannot read and so the oral tradition is an important means of communication for him. He tells his life story in Act I, scene iv. But he also tells part of his story through song. Research the role of storytelling as a part of the black experience. Consider also how the oral tradition has been replaced in many cultures by the printed page. Do you think that the oral tradition is a disappearing part of the American cultural experience?


4.  Explain how Troy’s character changes throughout the play.


5.  What elements does Wilson employ to give the audience a sense that time has passed and characters have changed during the course of the play?


6.  Some critics of August Wilson complain that "nothing happens" in his plays, meaning the plot is too subtle to be dramatic. Do you agree with them?  Why?/Why Not?  You might want to use the text to back up your answers.


7.  Compare and contrast Miller's Death of a Salesman with Fences. Compare and contrast the roles of fate vs. personal actions in the story of Willie Loman and Troy Maxson.


Posted by taznar at 9:19 PM EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 30 September 2007 9:28 PM EDT

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