Fences Play PDF Free Download


Fences, the celebrated play by August Wilson, has captured the hearts and minds of audiences for decades. This theatrical masterpiece, set in the 1950s, explores the complexities of African American life, family, and societal constraints. Through the lens of fences, both literal and metaphorical, Wilson weaves a compelling narrative that resonates with universal themes of love, dreams, and racial struggles. In this article, we delve into the profound symbolism of fences in the play and how they reflect the characters’ inner struggles and aspirations.

The Physical Barrier: A Fence That Divides

The Maxson’s Home

Troy Maxson, the central character of the play, builds a literal fence around his home. This fence serves as a physical barrier, separating the Maxson family from the outside world. Troy constructs the fence to protect his family and maintain a sense of control. It becomes a symbol of his desire to provide security and define his territory.

Symbol of Discrimination

The fence also symbolizes the racial discrimination prevalent during the 1950s. It represents the barriers that African Americans faced in pursuing their dreams and aspirations. Troy’s struggle as a former Negro League baseball player who couldn’t break the color barrier in Major League Baseball is mirrored in the fence’s symbolism.

The Emotional Fences: Walls Around the Heart

Troy’s Emotional Walls

While Troy builds a physical fence, he also erects emotional barriers within himself. His past traumas and regrets serve as the foundation for these walls. His inability to express love and affection creates a rift between him and his loved ones.

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Cory’s Aspirations

Troy’s son, Cory, faces his own emotional barriers. He dreams of playing college football but encounters resistance from his father, who fears his son will face the same racial discrimination he did. These emotional fences strain their relationship and reflect the generational divide.

The Unfinished Fence: Dreams Deferred

The Incomplete Project

Throughout the play, Troy struggles to complete the fence he started building years ago. This unfinished project symbolizes the unfulfilled dreams and aspirations of the characters. Troy’s dream of being a professional baseball player was left incomplete, mirroring the fence.

Generational Legacy

Troy’s inability to finish the fence underscores the idea that dreams deferred can be passed down through generations. His unfinished business haunts his family, representing the unresolved issues that impact future generations.


In August Wilson’s “Fences,” the symbolism of fences extends far beyond physical boundaries. These fences represent the emotional and societal barriers that the characters face. Through this powerful imagery, Wilson invites the audience to contemplate the broader issues of race, family, and the American Dream. As we reflect on the Maxson family’s struggles, we gain a deeper understanding of the challenges that shaped their lives and the enduring power of dreams.


Q: Is “Fences” based on a true story?
No, “Fences” is a work of fiction created by playwright August Wilson. However, it draws inspiration from the African American experience in the 1950s.

Q: Why is the play titled “Fences”?
The title “Fences” symbolizes both physical and metaphorical barriers, reflecting the central themes of the play.

Q: What is the significance of the unfinished fence in the play?
The unfinished fence serves as a metaphor for unfulfilled dreams and unresolved issues that affect the characters and their descendants.

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