Office Hours: TTh 12:30-1:30 p.m., and by appointment, Gregory 154

Class Meeting Time: TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m., Henkel 107

Friday, March 23, 2012

[Archive Post] Online Class Post for Friday, March 30, 2012

Troy
Using the checklist for "Writing About a Play" on page 826 of our Literature anthology, respond to Wilson's charge, on page 1353, that Fences attempts to normalize Black experiences for White audiences, and to consider those experiences as artistry for Black audiences. Do you see Wilson making a political statement or social critique? If so, then what is it? What textual support do you have from the play? This assignment counts as one participation grade and is due by midnight on 3/30/12.

20 comments:

  1. I think that Wilson is making a social critique. He is not asking people to change there ways of thinking, but he is giving them a new point of view. "Here in America whites have a have a particular view of blacks, and i think my play offers them a different and new way to look at black Americans." And it also gives African Americans a new view as well. "Blacks see the content of their lives being elevated into art." In the play you see that this family is no different from anyone else. They also have similar problems. One for example is staying faithful, which Troy fails to do. "I'm talking, women, let me talk. I'm trying to find a way to tell you... I'm gonna be a daddy. I'm gonna be somebody's daddy."

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  2. I feel that August Wilson is making a social critique instead of a political statement because he is simply describing a different view of African Americans. His social critique is that Caucasians have different views on African Americans associations. They are associated with a different way of living. August Wilson describes in his play of “Fences” that African Americans have the same basic drive no matter what race or ethnicity.

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  3. I think that August Wilson is making a social critique rather than a political statement because he is simply showing a different view on the lives of African Americans. His social critique is that caucasians have a certain view on African americans, they are associated with a certain way of living, August Wilson shows in his play "Fences" that African Americans have the same basic drive in life and that they are not as different from caucasians as they think.

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  4. I think that Wilson is making a social critique. In his interview he talks about how he works as an artist and how art is political in some sense and reflects someone’s political view. “Here in America whites have a particular view of blacks, and I think my plays offer them a different and new way to look at black Americans” (1353). In “Fences,” Wilson uses Troy’s job as a garbage man to offer white Americans a little insight of the issues black Americans had. “They gonna fire me cause I asked a question? That’s all I did. I went to Mr. Rand and asked him, “Why? Why you got the white mens driving and the colored lifting? Told him, “what’s the matter; don’t I count?” . . . Hell anybody can drive a truck” (1308). Wilson is demonstrating how the same issues white Americans and black Americans deal with are the same in life and knowing this can change how they view each other.

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  5. Katherine Hooker
    I see Wilson as making a social critique through his writing of Fences. I believe that he is bringing attention to the issues of judgment and stereotyping that individuals of a certain race or culture make about a different race/culture. He states in his argument that often White Americans saw Black Americans as a maid, or a garbage man, or whatever their job may be. They did not step back and realize that black people had the same experiences and challenges in life. Through the main character, Troy, and the drama that portrayed his struggles and challenges in life, the reader is able to see the similarities in experiences regardless of race. The statements Troy makes point towards the social statement of Wilson’s attempt to normalize African-American experiences. Troy has the same encounters with his wife, son, brother and friend that all individuals face throughout life. He is stern and does what he thinks is in Cory’s “best interest” by not allowing Cory to be subjected to the racial discrimination he is likely to face in college sports; at the same time, the innate human emotion, jealousy, is obvious in his intentions. This same interaction between a father and son can be seen across racial boundaries. The purpose of Wilson’s play is to normalize these emotions and these experiences for the Black population in America.

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  6. Fences is all about social critique. We know this because Wilson stated on page 1353 “ I don’t write primarily to effect social change.” He’s not trying to change the world or tell people what to do, he’s just trying to help whites & blacks understand each other. Even though Troy is a black garbage man, he’s still going through what white garbage men are going through.

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  7. I believe Fences is a social critique. He's trying to help white people understand that them and African Americans have a lot more in common than they think. In his interview he says, "By looking at Troy's life, white people find out that the content of this black garbageman's life is very similar to their own, that he is affected by the same things--love, honor, beauty, betrayal, duty."I think August Wilson was hoping when he wrote Fences was that white people would understand that there is no reason for us to be racist, or segregated, and discriminate against them because no matter what color we are, we all go through the same things in life. Which brings us closer together instead of pushing us apart. Hopefully with a look into the life of African American's, white people can understand that they can teach us, they're just as respectable people as we are, and there really is no difference between us.

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  8. After reading the interview on page 1353, I believe that Wilson is making a social critique through his play Fences. Wilson doesn't come out and say directly if he is trying to make a social or political change through his work but he hints the social aspect by saying, "By looking at Troy's life, white people find out that the content of of this black garbageman's life is very similar to their own..."(Wilson 1353). He is trying to help the white audience reading his play to realize and relate their everyday lives to a black person. He is indirectly bringing attention to his audience that there is unfair judgments occurring in real life and that our lives are affected by the same things: love, honor, beauty, betrayal, and duty. A good example of how Wilson is trying to show real life discrimination is when Troy says; "'what's the matter, don't I count? You think only white fellows got sense enough to drive a truck. That ain't no paper job!...'"(Wilson 1308). Wilson is showing how there are stereotypical problems between white and black Americans that occur every day and he is also presenting a scenario that people of all races can relate to.

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  9. I believe that August Wilson is making a social critique in his play Fences. Throughout the story he is attempting to help white Americans connect with African Americans. In his interview on page 1353 he is quoted saying, “By looking at Troy’s life, white people find out that the content of this black garbageman’s life is very similar to their own, that he is affected by the same things—love, honor, beauty, betrayal, duty”(Wilson 1353). Wilson says this because he was hoping that white people would be able to relate their everyday lives to the main character (a black man) Troy’s life. The racism and discrimination that occurs doesn’t need to take place because we are all truly the same and Wilson is trying to prove this through his work.

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  10. I think that Wilson is trying to make a social critique in "Fences", rather than a political statement. He says in his interview, "Here in America whites have a particular view of blacks, and I think my plays offer them a different and new way to look at black Americans" (Wilson 1353). He also says that, "By looking at Troy's life, white people find out that the content of this black garbageman's life is very similar to their own, that he is affected by the same things -- love, honor, beauty, betrayal, duty" (Wilson 1353). The point he is trying to make in "Fences" is that black and white Americans have a lot in common, even if their skin color isn't one of them. He is also trying to point out that discrimination happens everywhere, regardless of whether you're black or white. An example of when Wilson is trying to show an example of discrimination in "Fences" is when Troy is talking with Bono about his job and said he asked the boss, "You think only white fellows got enough sense to drive a truck...Hell, anybody can drive a truck. How come you got all whites driving and the colored lifting?" (Wilson 1308). The discrimination and racism that takes place to Troy is unwarrented; Wilson is trying to point out that we are all the same people with equal rights, so the difficulty that Troy faces because he is black isn't right. That's what August Wilson is trying to prove with his work; that all humans have equal rights and that one group of people shouldn't be subjected to a different type of treatment.

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  12. I believe August Wilson is making a social critique. I say this because in Wilson's interview he makes it clear when he says, "Here in America whites have a particular view of blacks, and I think my plays offer them a different and new way to look at black Americans." He is saying that white people don't get what blacks had to go through so he tries to put it in perspective through his plays. The blacks then see it as art because they see these plays as a way of gaining equality. Wilson also says in his interview, "...white people find out that the content of this black garbageman's life is very similar to their own,that he is affected by the same things-love, honor, beauty, betrayal, duty." He explains that black people and white people go through the same thing but blacks tend to get treated worse for no real reason. In the play Fences when Troy has an affair with another woman, Troy has to deal with the same kind of consequences any white male would have to deal with. As Wilson said in the interview Troy had to deal with love, betrayal, honor, etc just like any other person in the world.

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  13. Wilson is writing a social critique. He isn't writing directly to influence social change. He tells the interviewer,"I don't write primarily to effect social change. I believe writing can do that, but thats not why I write". Wilson perceives his work as art and not a form of social influence but he does end up showing different perspectives in his writing that do influence social outlook toward the black community. He does believe the black community will see his work as a way to put their day-to-day tasks as art. Finally Wilson says in his interview that Troy isn't much different then anyone else, this shows that he wants the audience to relate to troy and his life which would definitely be making a social impact on those who watched/read his play.

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  14. Rachel Gross

    I believe that August Wilson in making a social critique in his play "Fences." During Wilson's interview, he states, "Here in America whites have a particular view of blacks, and I think my play offers them a different and new way to look at black Americans." Wilson is not demanding anyone to change their views on how they view blacks and whites. He is merely trying to propose a thought that might cause a change in the point of view of others. Wilson is trying to point out that whites and blacks are not as different as everyone thinks. The family life that is shown in "Fences" can represent any family in this day and age that is undergoing financial, marital, or any other issue that infects a family home. Wilson shined a strong light on the issues of racism and discrimination hoping that a change would be made.

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  15. Mariana Gozalo

    After reading the interview with author, August Wilson, i believe that he was writing a social critique. During the interview, he says, "By looking at Troy's life, white people find out that the content of this black garbageman's life is very similar to their own, that he is affected by the same things-love,honor, beauty, betrayal, duty." Throughout the play, it's made to look like blacks are treated much worse than whites- which was true in the past. What he tries to say is that, even though blacks and whites are different on the outside, we all go through similar situations and are affected by the same things. Although Troy did some wrong things in the play, he has consequences just like any other male would, whether they'd be black or white.

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  16. I think Wilson is making a social critique. His play Fences feeds to make points about the views of african americans in a white society in 1957. "Here in America whites have a particular view of blacks, and I think my plays offer them a different and new way to look at black Americans." (1353) In the play Fences, Wilson uses the main character Troy as a symbol of what a majority of african americans go through in life and to show that blacks go through the same struggles and life choose that many white americans have gone through. Troy had to make decisions on things that everyone deals with like marriage, children and jobs.

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  17. I feel that Wilson is making a social critique instead of a political statement because he is describing a different view of African Americans. His social critique is that white people have different views of black associations. They thought they had a different way of living. Wilson describes in his play of “Fences” that African Americans have the same desire as whites, or any other majority race.

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  18. In Fences Wilson is making a social critique I see Wilson as making a social critique. Wilson does this to bring attention to the issues of stereotyping other from different races ad cultures. He talks about how white people saw blacks as holding poor jobs and being poor people. They always though less of black people, and the whites though they were better than them. He shows this through the main character Troy and his struggles as an athlete because he was black. He was not allowed to play baseball because he was black and when Cory grows up he is offered to play and because Troy was not allowed he will not allow Cory to play. He even goes to the coach and tell him that Cory is not allowed to play he fears that Cory will be subject to racial discrimination. Wilson writes this to criticizes those who were rude and created the racial conflicts between black and whites.

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  19. Tommy Abel Fences/Wilson Response

    I believe the story Fences is more of a social critique than a political statement. I think this because on pg. 1353 Wilson states that his plays are made to give Americans a different outlook on black culture. He also says that they see more into Troy's life, rather than he's just poor and is a garbage man. I see Fences as a great story because it clearly shows how stereo types are always defied. There really isn't a difference in white and black lives. We are all people and all share the same problems. Our problems in life aren't defined by our color and I think Wilson does a great job explaining that.

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  20. I think that Wilson is making a social critique. He is not asking people to change there ways of thinking, but he is giving them a new point of view. "Here in America whites have a have a particular view of blacks, and i think my play offers them a different and new way to look at black Americans." And it also gives African Americans a new view as well. "Blacks see the content of their lives being elevated into art." In the play you see that this family is no different from anyone else. They also have similar problems. One for example is staying faithful, which Troy fails to do.

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