The Theme Of Music In August Wilson's Fences

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Blues
In the play Fences written by August Wilson, there are many different genres of music such as Gospel and the Blues. The Blues genre originated within the African American community. It is a type of music that expresses overwhelming feelings such as the depressions experienced or the exhilarations of daily life. The lyrical verses of the Blues are a way of expression to the African American people and people of other ethnicities who enjoy partaking in creating its soulful vibes. In the play, Troy Maxson sings Blues songs to express his emotion. August Wilson uses “The Old Blue Song” as a representation of the harmony and disharmony in Troy Maxon’s life. The genre of ‘The Old Blue Song represents the social injustice that Troy experiences
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Why you got the white mens driving and the colored lifting?’ Told him, “what’s the matter, don’t I count? You think only white fellows got sense enough to drive truck. That ain’t no paper job! Hell, anybody can drive a truck (889)
This statement shows that Troy is well aware of the discrimination against him based on the color of his skin. Perhaps the reasons why Troy likes to sing blues songs, is because he is able to tell tales of the hardships that come with being discriminated against as a black male in a white world and also facing discrimination in his position as a garbage collector. Similarly, the genre of “The Old Blue Song” also reflects the unfulfilled dream of Troy becoming a part of baseball Major League. During this time, the African American is not able to do what they want because of this racial bias against their skin color that has been a part of society for a very long time. In the play, Troy Maxson wants to play baseball in the major leagues, but could not play because of the color of his skin. He says, “…Im talking about if you could play ball then they ought to have let you play. Don’t care what color you were. Come telling me I come along too early. If you could play…then they ought to have let you play” (893). Here we see that Troy immediately blames his skin color for being the reason that he cannot play baseball in the major leagues, ignoring that the factor could have been his age. As a result of his past experiences, he does want Cory to play
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The song originated from Troy’s father, as he states, “That was my daddy’s song. My daddy made up that song” (911). The song goes way back and it reminds him of his father and his own father 's struggles and how his childhood could have been affected by the same way of thinking. After Troy sang the melody, his childhood memories came back to him, remembering how his father mistreated him. This opened him up as he started talking more about his father to Lyons and Bono. Even though, Troy and his father did not have the best relationship, he states, “I don’t know what happened to him. I done lost touch with everybody except Gabriel. But I hope he’s dead. I hope he found some peace” (916). From this we can understand that after what his father done to Troy, he has still found a way to forgive his father with the hope that he has ‘found some peace’. Moreover, Troy’s children Cory and Raynell sing “The Old Blue Song” the day of Troy’s funeral. At this point of the play, tension winds down as Cory and Raynell together sing a song that their father used to sing to them. Though the song is about Troy’s old dog Blue, it is clear that the two are singing it in honor of Troy and his hard life. Cory singing the song for his father could mean that he is on the road to coming to his terms with his father and forgiving him just as Troy forgave his own father. This song has connected three generations

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