Relationships Are Like Glass: Once Shattered, Never Again Complete

1257 words - 6 pages

In the play Fences by August Wilson, Troy Maxson is the protagonist and can be portrayed as a meticulous, amusing, and dependable character. Rose Maxson is Troy’s younger wife and she is depicted as faithful, affectionate towards her children and husband, and iron-willed. Troy and Rose have been together for eighteen years and have a marriage that even the most cheerful people would envy; they can count on one another, they share jokes and laughs, and they have worked hard together to earn the things they have. Although their marriage seems well-built and joyful, this picture of bliss soon diminishes when Rose Maxson discovers a secret happening that her husband has been keeping from her. ...view middle of the document...

The stage directions state that Troy places his arm around his wife on three separate occasions while he is speaking with Bono in the yard; usually he is speaking about Rose (Wilson, 526, 535, 550).
Aside from the plays stage directions and the couple’s body language, Troy repeatedly states his love for Rose and the way life might be without her. “See this woman, Bono? I love this woman. I love this woman so much it hurts” (Wilson, 526). Troy claims that Rose was the one woman who was worth it. “You the only decent thing that ever happened to me” (Wilson 548). Troy is the one who speaks of and acts on his love for Rose, but not once does Rose come out and say anything about her love for Troy. The character of Rose does not have any stage directions hinting at any body language that can be conceived as loving towards her husband. However the stage directions when Rose is introduced during the first scene state: “Her devotion to him stems from her recognition of the possibilities of her life without him” (Wilson, 525). This designates that she is with Troy because he is her only option; the other options she had were not appealing to her. According to Professor Harold Bloom, Rose is committed to her husband Troy because: “He has given her a home and takes care of his responsibilities” (Bloom, Par.3).
As previously stated, Troy and Rose Maxson are illustrated as a playful and enthusiastic couple throughout the first act of the play. In the first scene of the second act, things drastically change for the pair. This is when Troy finally tells Rose that he is seeing a woman named Alberta and that he is going to be the father of her child. Rose is devastated but holds her ground and keeps its together but cannot understand where things went wrong: “I done tried to be everything a wife should be. Everything a wife could be” (Wilson, 566). Even though Troy was unfaithful he did not want to fix the situation; he did not want to give up his new found personality: “I can just be a part of myself that I ain’t never been… Rose, I can’t give that up” (Wilson, 567). Professional writer, Sheri Metzger, claims that Troy had the affair with Alberta because it was an attempt to re-claim his ‘youth’ because he is attractive to younger women (Metzger, Par.7). Troy claims that he has “been standing in the same place for eighteen years” and that Alberta was his escape from responsibilities (Wilson, 568). Since this play is staged in the 1950’s, Rose did not have many options because her ‘role was limited’...

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