"Fences" as a Comedy Argumentative Essay by Master Researcher

"Fences" as a Comedy
An argument that August Wilson's play, "Fences" is a tragic comedy.
# 44966 | 1,150 words | 1 source | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Nov 03, 2003 in Drama and Theater (American)

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This paper examines August Wilson's play, "Fences", in the classical argument style of literary criticism. The central argument of this paper is the determination that "Fences" is a comedy and not a tragic drama. The paper asserts that instead of crying at the tragedies in the play, we can find ourselves laughing at the ridiculousness of the horror of it all.

From the Paper:

"On the surface, there are many elements of August Wilson's play, Fences, that hint at tragedy within. The primary tragic element in the play is the main character, Troy Maxson, whose life is truly a tragic mess. Given the extent of his personal problems, the comedy is found not in laughing at them in specific, but at the totality of his flawed humanity. It is this flawed humanity which is so in need of forgiveness which graces this play with the comedy of human irony. We are forced to laugh at the life of Troy Maxson because nothing else is left for us to do. We cannot truly pity a man who brings so much upon himself, nor can we fully excuse him for his mistakes. It is possible, then, to take Troy not for the moment in which we meet him, but in relation to the whole of his life, and by extension to the whole of the African-American experience. In this vision, it is possible to see that what has happened to Troy will be of great humor to him later. In his fight for the job of picking up garbage, in his relationship with his son Cory, and in the very origins of his life, Troy's struggle to find true manhood and his success in surpassing expectations make his life a tragic comedy."

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