Prompt: What is the play’s attitude towards women? How might a female playwright tell the story of Fences differently than August Wilson? Do Rose and the women mentioned in the play typify the role of women in the 1950s or defy them? What attributes or actions of the female characters support your argument?
What if you lived in a world where humans born female were treated similarly to African-American slaves? Rose is often marginalized, just as Troy is when faced with racism. The attitude towards women in the play Fences is problematic throughout the play. If a female playwright were to tell the story from her point of view, the play would gravitate around the struggles of women in the 1950s.
To start off, Rose is excluded conversations, simply because of the fact that she was born female. The quote states, “What you worried about what we getting into for? This is men talk, woman (August Wilson).” It is apparent that troy excludes Rose from the conversation that he’s having. Troy expects and depends on her to be doing the dirty work (chores, cooking etc.), rather than having a conversation. Troy decides to exclude Rose from doing something completely normal for human beings, conversating. Rose is under-appreciated and treated disrespectfully.
Moving on, women in the play are under-appreciated and looked down upon throughout the play. The quote states, “this is men talk. I got some talk for you later. You know what I mean. You go on and powder it up… Troy Maxson, don’t you start that now (August Wilson)!” This quote reveals the fact that Troy only looks at Rose as an object to quench his fantasies, rather than a human being. Troy believes that women are only good for sex. Through this quote, it’s obvious to see that Rose feels highly uncomfortable with Troy’s remark. Troy says whatever he feels like to Rose. he is disrespectful to her and doesn’t think before he speaks, as if she’s not worth his time. Rose is portrayed as a typical woman in the 1950s, which explains why Troy thinks it’s okay to treat her like a toy rather than an actual being.
Furthermore, Rose is portrayed as a typical woman in the 1950s (She typifies the role of a woman during that time). Throughout the play, Rose does things such as cleaning, cooking, and caring for her family, the typical things a mother would do. She is portrayed as your average housewife.Rose is very compassionate, righteous, and understanding. For example, when she agreed to take Raynell as her own child. To counter claim, the women throughout the play are represented positively and almost accurately, just as a woman from the 1950s would.
, if Rose were to tell the story from her point of view, it would gravitate around the struggle that most women in the 1950s had to deal with. The play from Rose’s point of view would lay out the more realistic and negative aspects to it. Around the whole play, August Wilson only portrays Rose’s positive character traits and aspects. In reality, women aren’t perfect, they also go through hardships like any other human being. So if Rose were to explain the story from her point of view, it would include the positive and negative aspects of her life and experience as an African-American women in the 1950s.
On the other hand, the attitude towards women mentioned throughout the play are portrayed realistically and positively. Rose and the other women mentioned in the play are loyal to their loved ones. The quote that leads you to believe this claim states, “he ain’t eating right. Miss Pearl says she can’t get him to eat nothing… Seems like something ought to be done to help him.” This quotes uncovers the fact that Rose is portrayed as a very passionate woman who takes care of her friends and family well. Although Rose is portrayed as a compassionate person, she is also looked down upon negatively throughout the majority of the play.
To conclude, the play’s attitude towards women is unfavorable. Women in the play are looked down upon and are treated with disrespect. If Rose were to tell the story from her point of view, it would include more realistic aspects. Rose is portrayed as your typical woman from the 1950s due to the fact that she does “typical housewife” things.