Monday, November 17, 2008
The presentations on Fences today were wonderful and very thorough. We have some remaining issues to consider, nevertheless. For a moment, let's think explicitly about gender roles in Wilson's play. What is the role of the patriarch? How does the patriarch's role in the play correspond to what had emerged, by the 1950s, as the archetypal role for a male head-of-household within the stereotypical American nuclear family? How do Troy's accommodations to or refusals of this archetype propel the action of the play? Also, in the home as a domestic space in the play, what is Rose's role? In what ways do the expectations for/of the American nuclear family and the realities of life for the 1950s urban African American family intersect in Wilson's play?