Fences Research Paper

Published: 2021-08-11 23:25:04
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Category: Fences

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Qualities and Flaws In the play "Fences" by August Wilson, Troy Maxson can be characterized as a responsible, fearless, unfaithful husband and a controlling father. Troy has acted insensitive and uncaring to his wife, Rose, his brother, Gabriel and his son, Cory. Troy can be seen as a man with both positive qualities and flaws. Even though Troy definitely has some good qualities but a lot of what he does is bad. Troy Maxson is a man who takes responsibility for his family. He is a man who assumes the responsibilities of father, husband, and provider. One of the best quality to describe Troy Maxson would be as a family man.
He is very committed to the welfare of his family and provides them with basic needs. The author writes, It's my job. It's my responsibility! You understand that? A man got to take care of his family. You live in my house... sleep you behind on my bedclothes... fill you belly up with my food... cause you my son. You my flesh and blood. Not 'cause I like you! Cause it's my duty to take care of you. I owe a responsibility to you! (Wilson 1128). This proves that troy is a responsible person. He feels that it is his obligation to feed and take care of his family.
He has well intentions for his family Troy considers fatherhood as being an obligation where he is forced to take care of his children instead of doing it willingly. Troy Maxson can be portrayed as a fearless person. He relates a story of how he caught pneumonia and was sent to the hospital. He says that he struggled with death for three days and eventually won the wrestling contest. The author writes, Death standing there staring at me... carrying that sickle in his hand. Finally he say, You want bound over for another year? See just like that... You want bound over for another Year? I told him, Bound over hell!



Let's settle this now! (Wilson 1112). This quote reveals that Troy possess another positive quality of being fearless. This is my favorite quote from Troy, this quote reveals many characteristics of Troy. Mainly, his proud approach towards death is revealed in this quote illustrating how he fears nothing, not even death itself. Troy even dares to put a title to death as Mr. Death shows how he thinks of death as just another person who he wants to fight. The main reason this is my favorite quote is because Troy is characterized as a courageous person. Troy can be described as a selfish and unfaithful husband which is his biggest flaw.
He betrays his wife and goes off to have an affair with another women Alberta. When his wife finds out that he has an affair with another woman. He tells her that he had been faithful to her for eighteen years and now he wants to have his own freedom. Troy thinks he is a good husband to Rose because he provides her with food and a house. However, he is a selfish and uncaring husband because he didn't give her love and compassion. She couldn't believe Troy would betray her because she devoted her life to him and he stabs her in the back by having a child with his mistress.
She tells Troy, “I took all my feelings; my wants and needs, my dreams ... and I buried them inside you” (Wilson 1146). However, Troy's betrayal forces Rose to reassess her position. And according the essay, “On Fences" by Sheri Metzger. Harry Elam states that “affirm rather than assault traditional gender limitations. ” This shows how women's rights are limited. Rose substitutes her church for her husband. Rose tells Troy that “This child got a mother. But you a womanless man" (Wilson 1151). This quote shows that she is asserting her independence from her husband.
Elam quoted Patricia Collins's argument that black women learn independence at church, but they also learn to subordinate their interests to the greater good of the African American community. Baseball is used as a metaphor in Troy's life. Even though Troy never played baseball professionally, he uses the sport as a metaphor in his life. Troy's confrontation with his son, Cory, is also based on the ground of baseball game. Their fight is rather symbolic as well. They are fighting with a baseball bat, which is Troy's symbolic representation of his unrealized dream to become a baseball player.
Troy tells Cory, “You swung and you missed. That's strike one. Don't you strike out! “(Wilson 1152). Throughout the play a fence, Troy is portrayed as a controlling father and this is his biggest flaw. Troy’s relationship with his son is bitter and tense. This relationship involves deep protectiveness on the father’s part. Troy's failure to play baseball in the Major League due to the color of his skin makes him grossly unjust towards his family, especially toward his son Cory. He denies him from everything he likes or feels passionate about. He does not allow Cory to play in the football team.
Instead, he forces Cory to start working at A& P. His tough love is shown when he refuses to let Cory play football. According to the article, " Baseball as history and myth in August Wilson's Fences" by Susan Koprince. George Giles, a first baseman for the St. Louis Stars, recalled: "The racism we faced while I was in the Negro Leagues was one of the things that eventually pushed me out of baseball.... I was treated like a second-class citizen in my own country by people who knew they hated me before I could even say 'Hello'" (Craft 44).
Similarly, in the play fences, Troy says, “The colored guy got to be twice as good before he get on the team. That’s why I don’t want you to get all tied up in them sports” (Wilson 1126). We can see how blacks have been discriminated in the world of sports. However, Troy fails to recognize the fact that times have changed and Cory stands a reasonable chance to represent the football team in the Major League. Cory's complaint to his father is significant, "You ain't never done nothing but hold me back. Afraid I was gonna be better than you. All you ever did was try and make me scared of you. (Wilson 1155). This sets up a huge “fence” between Cory and his father because Cory sees Troy’s not signing the permission papers as a boulder crushing his dreams. Cory tells troy,“How come you ain’t never liked me? ” (Wilson 1145). Troy says that he doesn’t have time for this kind of talk and believes that Cory has to make his own way in life as his father did. Troy says, “Ain’t nobody gonna hold his hand when he get out there in that world. ” (Wilson 1143) . Even though troy has good motives for his son but he is unable to except the fact that times have changed since his younger years.
As Rose states, “People change. The world is changing around you and you can’t even see it" (Wilson 1146). In Conclusion, Troy is a person with both positive qualities and flaws. He takes care of his family by providing them food and shelter. However, I believe he has more flaws because he is a unfaithful husband who cheated on his wife. Troy never cared for Cory. He wouldn’t' let him play football, the only thing Cory wanted to do. All of these examples show that Troy is an uncaring husband and a poor father.

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