Troy’s past experiences influence his present and his family. Fences is a play written by August Wilson in the 1950s about an African American man who fails to fulfill his role as a father and husband. Troy, the protagonist of the play, is affected by his rough childhood, influencing the way he treats his family. In Fences, Wilson creates a fictional character in Troy whose envious, selfishness and arrogance illustrate a villain.
Troy Maxson has an envious behavior towards his son that created tension between them. Troy envies Cory’s opportunity to play football because he thinks Cory is going to be better than him at sports. The white man ain’t gonna let you get nowhere with that football noway. You go on and get your book-learning so you can work yourself up in that A&P or learn how to fix cars or build houses or something, get you a trade, Troy says to Cory refusing him to play (1.3).
Troy demands Cory to give up his dream and the chance to play football on scholarship at a college because he is jealous that he never had a chance to play like Cory. Troy’s resentment of never getting to play baseball portrays him as a villain because he destroys his son’s future by preventing the college recruiter visit Cory. Myles Weber, a literary critic, describes Troy’s covetousness towards his son in his article Rescuing the Tragic Bully in August Wilson’s Fences. Weber writes, Troy appears to be a petty tyrant made irrational by envy for his son’s opportunities showing Troy’s jealousy (Weber). Troy fears that Cory will achieve what he couldn’t that’s why he intervenes Cory’s opportunity to move further in life. Troy refuses to accept the world had changed around him that’s why he won’t let Cory move any further with his football career.
Troy’s decisions separated him from his family caused by his selfishness. Troy’s confession to Rose about having an affair with Alberta reveals his selfishness. When Troy tells Rose about his infidelity, he shows no remorse or regret about his actions, She gives me a different idea a different understanding about myself. I can step out of this house and get away from the pressures and problems…(2.1). Troy betrayed Rose by cheating on her, excusing himself that Alberta was his escape from his responsibilities. He continued to see Alberta without seemed regret or sorry even after he told Rose about his affair.
Troy not considering Rose’s feelings by hurting her because he did what he wanted to illustrates him as a villain. Myles Weber describes Troy as a selfish and self-interested towards the people around him. When Weber writes, Troy is exceedingly selfish toward those around him he explains how Troy doesn’t want anyone else be better than him (Weber). Troy’s selfishness is also shown when he tells Cory’s coach that he is not allowed to play football. Troy denies Cory to do what he couldn’t achieve. He refuses to support his son and denies him to . Troy portrays a villain in this situation because he didn’t let Cory follow his dreams just because his didn’t succeed.
Troy’s confrontations with his family increased due to his arrogance. Troy’s arrogance is shown when he kicked Cory out of his house. When Troy and Cory were having a confrontation, Troy responds to Cory, Turn your behind around around and walk out this yard Cause this is my house. You go on and be a man and get your own house(2.4). Troy insists Cory to leave his house and go as far as possible without caring where he would go.
Troy treats Cory the same way his father did with him creating a resentment inside Cory. After the confrontation they had, Cory lost respect towards Troy. Troy’s sense of superiority destroyed his relationship with his son by pushing him away which depicts him as a villain. Myles Weber writes about Troy’s arrogance and his sense of superiority in his article Rescuing the Tragic Bully in August Wilson’s Fences. Weber describes Troy’s haughtiness while he writes, Troy never does learn–that is his error (Weber). Troy refuses to take some else’s advice and listen because he thinks he is always right. He didn’t want to assume the world around him had changed and now they allow African-Americans play sports. He expects everyone to do what he says and agree with him. Troy’s ignorance and arrogance distanced him from his family further away which illustrates him as a villain .
Troy’s dominant behavior towards his family generates problems between them that result into an unstable family. The significance about Troy’s portrayal was to show how negative actions lead to bad outcomes. Someone that have been through a tough life can affect the way he or she treats others. August Wilson writes Fences to tell readers through Troy’s character that having a rough life was not an excuse for his actions. He should’ve learn from his past experiences and move on with his life trying to be different without repeating the same mistakes of his father.
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