Presentation on theme: "August Wilson's Play of the 1950s"— Presentation transcript:
1August Wilson's Play of the 1950s Allusions in FencesAugust Wilson's Play of the 1950s
2Mason-Dixon LineThe Mason-Dixon Line became widely known as the symbolic divider between the Northern and Southern states during America's Civil War; in short, it divided slave states from non-slave states.Notice: Our main character'slast name is MAXON, whichconnotes a racial divide. TroyMaxon feels that prejudice isstill prevalent in the US even 100years after the EmancipationProclamation.
3Trojan HorseThis is a reference to Greek mythology and the tragic hero -- one who has a character flaw that brings about his downfall.
4Uncle RemusA fictional character in African-American folktales, including "Brer Rabbit." They tell about the culture of blacks in the South. Some people think that they are racist.
5Archangel GabrielIn the bible, he is a messenger angel and will blow the trumpet to signify the Second Coming of the Lord.
6Pearly Gates and Saint Peter A reference to the gates to Heaven and to the one that guards who enters.
7Baseball PlayersBabe Ruth: famous player who spent 22 years on three different teams. He set many records in the game, some of which have not been broken.George Selkirk: played for the Yankees, beginning in 1935, and on five championship teams.Roberto Clemente: played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from , garnering many awards.
8Baseball PlayersHank Aaron: "Hammerin' Hank" played MLB from and made the All-Star team 20 years in a row.Sandy Koufax: Hall of Fame pitcher.Jackie Robinson: "broke the color barrier" by becoming the first black major league player.
10Still more baseball Josh Gibson: Negro League catcher Satchel Paige: Negro League and Major League pitcher
11Civil Rights’ Influence on the Play “The civil rights movement was not a version of black power or something that we might call ‘identity politics.’ In fact, it was very much in keeping with the postwar emphasis on values like democracy and personal freedom. African Americans involved in the civil rights movement of the 1950s asserted their rights as U.S. citizens to fair and non-discriminatory treatment. Building on a powerful religious tradition of community participation, African American activists entered into the active cultural contests of the 1950s, insisting upon their place at the table of postwar bounty.”~http://vikingnet.org/neyer/social_change.htm
12What was going on in history? *1954: Brown v. Board of EducationPresident Eisenhower defended the Southerners who wanted to keep segregation in place: "These are not bad people. All they are concerned about is to see that sweet little girls are not required to sit in schools alongside some big black bucks." Supreme Court Justice Warren could not agree. The Court ruled in favor of Brown, and overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 ("separate but equal"). The NAACP supported the Brown case: They believed that desegregation was critical to AfricanAmerican civil rights.
13Civil Rights 1955:The Montgomery Bus Boycott Contrary to many historical accounts, the yearlong bus boycott by the black community in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955 was not a spontaneous response to the arrest of Rosa Parks when she refused to give up her seat on a public bus to a white passenger. Instead, it was part of a much more sustained protest movement against the discriminatory practices of the Montgomery transit system. The boycott required tremendous organization to be effective. Car pools had to be regularly maintained so people could get to work and to the downtown area where they worked or did business. A little-known spokesman, Rev. Martin Luther King, was chosen from a coalition of Montgomery churches. This position began his rise to prominence in the civil rights movement.
14More history 1957: Little Rock After three years of inactivity, in 1957, the school board in Little Rock, Arkansas, gave in to the Supreme Court’s decision and voted to desegregate a white high school. Nine high-achieving black students were chosen or volunteered to begin attending the white high school, located in the working class neighborhood of Little Rock. (This added to previously existing class tensions, as well as racial ones). The governor had previously stood on a fairly moderate platform. With an eye towards re-election the next year, the governor called out National Guard troops to prevent the students from entering the school.