English discussion on act of fences

efore doing this Discussion, make sure you have read Scenes 1-3 from Act 1 of Fences.

Fences' cast on the power of the film - CNN


  • Answer the following questions: Are you familiar with Fences? Have you read it or seen the movie? Have you ever seen a live performance (a play or a musical) or been involved in a play, personally? If so, what have you seen, and what do you remember about the experience?


  • In the article “Interpreting Drama” (we will be reading it next week), the writer claims that: “we learn about setting from the knowledge we bring to the table.” Therefore, even while reading a work, it’s helpful to establish the context. Therefore, do a little research about the 1950s, especially the second half of the decade, when Fences takes place. You can (of course) check out Wikipedia, but see what else you can learn about that decade from other, more reliable sources.
  • Then write down three facts about this time period (and please tell us where you found each fact). **Look for information about the political, social, cultural, and financial climate during the ‘50s. Also, since Fences deals with racial issues/racism as it relates to African Americans, sports (baseball and football), and music (blues/jazz), you might research these specific subjects as well.


  • After reading the first three scenes of the play, choose one character to analyze, and then answer the following questions about that character:
  • How is your character connected to the other characters? How would you describe their relationships?
  • How would you describe your character’s personality, attitude (ethical, moral, etc.), strengths, flaws, physical appearance, philosophy, etc? Are they hiding any secrets (this is also known as “mask wearing”–please explain.
  • Even though it’s still early in work, what type of character is he or she (flat, round, static, dynamic–characters can embody more than one of these traits), and why?
    • Flat: stereotypical, two-dimensional, uncomplicated, one trait or characteristic defines him or her
    • Round: complex personality, often conflicted or contradictory in nature
    • Static: character does not change over time, personality does not evolve
    • Dynamic: central character, changes over time, usually as a result of a resolving a central conflict or facing a major crisis

Post due by 11:59 pm on Friday, Oct. 16th, and Response to Peers due by 11:59 on Sunday, Oct. 18th

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