Fences Essay Assignment

Choose one of the following topics and write a 1000-1500 word essay addressing it.  It will likely be necessary to re-read any play you choose to use before you write.  

This essay will require outside research.  You will need at least three outside sources in addition to the play itself.  Be careful that your sources are good ones.

This means a Works Cited page of at least four entries (that you actually use in the paper) is required.  No Works Cited page=F.  Messed up Works Cited page= D or F.

This essay is due November 18, 11:59 pm.  No late papers accepted.  There is no more time. 

      1. A fence is one of the major symbols, both figuratively and literally, within the play. Describe and analyze two examples of fences (literal or metaphorical) that exist within            the play discussing:

            – who builds each fence

            – how each fence is built

– what effect each fence has on the characters in the play

  1. In Fences, we can see Troy as a tragic figure, a hero, and a villain. Using specific incidents from the play,  Using specific incidents from the play, explain why Troy fits one or more of these descriptions.  You may need to research the terms to discover which ones you believe.  Your research may in part be just what these terms represent and how he fits.
  2. Troy’s three children each seem to have a different view of their father. (We can tell the least about his relationship with Raynell, but how she talks about Troy is important).  Analyze these different relationships. How are they different and/or similar and why?
  3. If your research reveals another possible topic that you want to explore, let me know.  There has been a lot written about both of these plays.  Possible topics: character analysis, changing relationships, generation gap, role of sports, sports as a metaphor (like the fence is a metaphor).  There’s a lot going on in this play.  There is plenty to explore.

Other things to note:

  • As a rule, italicize the names of plays.
  • You need not retell the story, but you do need to put quotes and sections that you are discussing in context. In other words, you can assume I know the story, but you’ve got to set up what part you’re talking about..
  • Refer to the author by first name the first time he or she is mentioned and by last name after that.
  • Put commas/ periods inside closing quotation marks unless they are followed by parenthesis.
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