Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

The Impact of Racial Discrimination on Family Bonds in August Wilson’s “Fences”


Focusing a focus on the lives of African Americans in the 1950s, August Wilson’s drama “Fences” examines issues including family, racial prejudice, and social status. This literary analysis research paper will concentrate on the play’s issue of racial prejudice and how it affects family ties. The main thesis of this essay is that racism has a significant impact on the Maxson family’s experiences, affecting their relationships, goals, and challenges (Mitra 12). This study intends to demonstrate how racial prejudice plays a crucial role in the characters’ lives, notably Troy Maxson, and its consequences on their family dynamics by evaluating specific incidents from the play and using ideas from academic research.

The African American Struggle in 1950s America

Investigating the background of racial prejudice in 1950s America is necessary to comprehend the context of “Fences.” The systemic discrimination, segregation, and restricted opportunities that African Americans faced had a significant influence on their lives and family structures. The Maxson family, the play’s subject, faced similar difficulties, and the harsh reality of the era shaped their experiences (Steverson 155). By examining the racial atmosphere, one may learn about the characters’ outlooks on life since the social injustices they experienced significantly impacted their difficulties and goals. A moving depiction of African American life at the time, “Fences” serves as a sobering reminder of the long-lasting impacts of historical prejudice and the tenacity of those who struggled against its restrictions.

Troy Maxson: A Man Defined by Discrimination

The play’s main character, Troy Maxson, carries the burden of life significantly told by ethical prejudice. He crushed several obstacles that prevented him from achieving his goal of being a professional baseball player despite being born into a racially divided society. The persistent rejection of opportunities permanently changed his character because of his skin colour, which resulted in a complex mix of resiliency and resentment (Steverson 150). Troy’s persona serves as a moving illustration of the long-lasting effects of prejudice, shedding light on the difficulties encountered by many African Americans at the time. The drama captures the complexity of human emotions formed in the furnace of racial injustice via his journey.

The Strained Father-Son Relationship

The racial prejudice Troy has experienced significantly influences his relationship with his son Cory. Troy is dubious of Cory’s desire to play football after prejudice prevents him from pursuing his baseball goals. Inadvertently transferring his past disappointments onto his kid, he creates resentment and friction between them. Troy’s viewpoint is shaped by the racial persecution he experienced, which makes him doubt Cory’s ambitions can come true (Mitra 12). This intergenerational conflict shows how racial injustice continues to impact people’s lives and family relationships as they fight to achieve their goals in an unfair society.

Impact on Troy and Rose’s Marriage

In Troy and Rose’s marriage, a theme of racial prejudice continues, tainting their strong relationship. Their relationship is tainted by Troy’s prior struggles and hate, which leads to disagreements and emotional estrangement. The play explores how Troy’s self-worth is affected by racial prejudice, which limits his ability to maintain a close relationship with Rose (Steverson 160). In the middle of their love, prejudice casts a shadow, showing its tremendous effects on interpersonal relationships and forcing them to face its wounds to achieve true emotional peace.

The Resilience of Family Bonds

The Maxson family’s enduring fortitude shines brilliantly in the face of racial persecution, outshining their difficulties. Their moments of love and solidarity, which transcend the repressive outside forces they must contend with, are eloquently captured in the drama. They support and strengthen one another’s spirits even under the most challenging circumstances. Despite the difficulties, their group efforts forge a powerful link that fortifies their commitment and makes them a ray of hope in the face of adversity (Maarif et al. 10). The story of the Maxson family demonstrates the value of family unity and the unwavering spirit that results from unconditional love, encouraging us to face challenges head-on and with tenacity.

Insights from Scholarly Research

Researchers use Hasan’s (8) scholarly article, “Race and Family in August Wilson’s “Fences”,” for a thorough examination. In this perceptive essay, Hasan examines the play’s complex portrayal of racial prejudice and its significant effects on family relations. By examining the themes, the study illuminates the larger social backdrop of the 1950s and reveals the extensive effects that racial discrimination had on African American families. Hasan’s analysis deepens our comprehension of the play and sheds important light on the difficulties disadvantaged people faced at the time. Our understanding of the complexity of race, family, and societal influences is deepened due to her study, which also increases our appreciation of August Wilson’s potent narrative.

Work Cited

Hasan, Hadi Ali. “The Culture Heritage Protection: Suggestive Themes and Views of August Wilson’s Fences.” Litinfinite 4.1 (2022): 01-12.

Maarif, Ihya Aditya Fahmi, Andang Saehu, and Lili Awaludin. “IRONY AS Representation Of Racial Segregation In August Wilson’s “Fences”.” Saksama 1.1 (2022): 7-19.

Mitra, Arpita. “August Wilson: The Unrestrained Voice of Black America.” The Creative Launcher 5.6 (2021): 8-14.

Steverson, Delia. “Don’t nobody wanna be locked up”: The Black Disabled Veteran in Toni Morrison’s Sula and August Wilson’s Fences.” CLA Journal 64.1 (2021): 147-165.


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics