Rose is Troy's ever-dutiful wife. As far as homemakers go, she'd put Martha Stewart to shame, and her cooking skills would make Rachel Ray blush. Rose is in some ways what you might expect of a 1950s-era housewife. She's always at home, cleaning or cooking. And, most important for a housewife of the time, she stands by her man. Even though Troy can be a jerk, Rose sticks by him for most of the play.
Don't get us wrong, Rose is no doormat. She doesn't let Troy walk all over her; she always calls him on his crap. When he makes inappropriate sexual remarks in front of company, she tells him that's not cool. When he exaggerates stories, she sets him straight. When she learns about his affair, she tells him off, saying, "You always talking about what you give...and what you don't have to give. But you take too. You take...and don't even know nobody's giving!" (2.1.122).
Perhaps the most telling moment for Rose is when she agrees to help raise Raynell. When Troy's mistress Alberta dies in childbirth, Troy begs Rose to be a mother to the baby girl. Rose tells her husband:
I'll take care of your baby for you...cause...she innocent...and you can't visit the sins of the father upon the child. A motherless child had got a hard time....From right now this child got a mother. But you a womanless man. (2.3.8)
It seems to us that this line sums up the two sides of Rose's nature. A natural mother, she can't help but want to nurture and care for the baby. The fact that she is her husband's illegitimate daughter makes Rose seem all the more compassionate. However, when Rose agrees to do this, she cuts Troy off. For the rest of the play, we see that the two are totally estranged. OK, she still leaves food in the kitchen for him, and he still pays the bills. But it's clear that, emotionally, Rose has severed her ties to her husband. Troy has lost the loving wife he once had.
Essay about August Wilson's Rose: Surviving the Love and Deception
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Alan Nadel in May All Your Fences Have Gates: Essays on the Drama of August Wilson states “August Wilson’s female characters are represented as nurturers” (6-7).This is exactly how August Wilson presents Rose to his readers. A key element is that Wilson names her after a flower just as his own mother; whose name was Daisy. It is apparent that through Rose, August Wilson wants us to see his mother. He intentionally portrays her as the caring, ideal woman, and one who stands by her man no matter how difficult this may be. Nadel also mentions:
“What differentiates them is how they interpret the concept of nurturing, and what sacrifices they have to make in the process, for Wolfson’s world is always necessarily one…show more content…
When Rose learns that after eighteen years her man had sustained a relationship with another woman, she was devastated. She hardened. The softness in the love she had for Troy changed forever. Her hurt can be felt through her words as she tells Troy exactly how she feels:
I been standing with you! I been right here with you, Troy… I took all my feelings, my wants and needs, my dreams… and I buried them inside of you. I planted a seed and watched and prayed over it… And it didn’t take me no eighteen years to find out the soil was hard and rocky and it was never going to bloom (2.1.). The pain she reflects is intense. Rose never doubts staying in the marriage; she would never abandon her world. Her family means everything to her. Although this is true, it does not stop her from letting Troy know how angry his infidelity has made her. Her pain just makes her stronger and more determined to continue her life as usual, but without the love she once professed her husband. Rose poignantly tells him “All of the sudden it’s ‘we’. Where was ‘we’ at when you was down there rolling around with some forsaken woman?”(2.1). Rose made it clear that she was not going to abide by Troy’s ways any longer. Their lives would never be the same. Their love evaporates just as the morning dew the midst of day.
Raising Raynell is her way of showing Troy how strong and powerful she really was. Even though in those days were women supposed to do as told,