April 21, 2017
A Wilting Rose
Society has set up certain standards for both sexes; men are to be strong and women weak. The problem with these social definitions of the genders is that it leaves the woman on an unequal playfield, often resulting in her diminished sense of self. A diminished sense of self can leave the woman weak, dependent and to a certain extent – fading in her life giving over all her power to the man in the relationship. August Wilson in Fences, through his character Rose shows how inequality seems to make Rose ‘wilt’ and thus she is often defenseless and voiceless. To be a woman in the 1950s was to be a homemaker. The heart and soul of a house depended on the woman who ran it. Women grow up with false dreams of love and happily ever after. Clearly based upon the play and the articles one can see that society does not benefit women, instead women are taught that to be happy one must submit their individuality and dreams to a man which leads to their unhappiness, self-doubt and resentment.
August Wilson in “Fences” illustrates how his character Rose is manipulated by society as she plays the role of the good wife to keep her family intact and happy to find her own happiness. Over time though, her marriage begins to collapse before her own eyes as she watches the years pass and her husband continues to space further away from her. One can see that Troy shows his wife love and devotion in front of his friend Bono, but also tries to stifle her sense of self. Being a woman in that time was very hard, but to be an African American woman was harder. African American men have a tremendous stigma to overcome. Books, poems and songs are written on the abandonment by black fathers. What these artists fail to speak about is the ones who stay. What about the fathers that stay to raise their children and the husbands who stay but make mistakes? Troy stayed with his wife. He never planned to leave her, but he ruined his wife with the admission that he was having a child with another woman. We watch in Wilson’s play as Rose-the heart and soul of her house, is torn into shreds at the admittance of infidelity and being slapped in the face right after as Troy tells her that he will continue to see the woman who he not only cheated on her with, but admitted to feeling happier with. While trying to admit to Rose about his deceit Troy continues to put his wife down. After eighteen years of being oppressed and trying so hard to become equal with her husband he comes to her and tells her this with the intention of clearing his own guilt. Rose tells Troy,” I been standing with you! I been right here with you, Troy” (Act two, 70). The very fact that Troy fails to understand that his wife may have been unhappy throughout their marriage as well shows how little he catered to her feelings. Interestingly, though Rose and Troy go through all of this they continue to stay together, but apart wh...