Character Analysis of August Wilson's Fences

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In the play Fences, by August Wilson, the main character, Troy Maxson is involved in numerous relationships with family members throughout the entire eight years that the story takes place. Troy is a father, husband, and brother to other characters in the play. Unfortunately for Troy, a strong-minded and aggressive man, he constantly complicates the relationships with his family members. Troy's hurtful actions and words make it nearly impossible for him to sustain healthy relationships with not only his two sons, but also his wife and brother. Perhaps the most important and fulfilling relationship a man can be involved in is one with his own flesh and blood. At the beginning of the play, we learn that Troy has two sons, Lyons and Cory. …show more content…
It is obvious to the audience that Troy and Cory simply do not get along. The two are constantly bickering, mostly about Cory's dream to play football at the college level. Since playing baseball did not get Troy anywhere, he feels that football will not benefit Cory and that Cory should "get recruited in how to fix cars or something where he can make a living" (8). Troy constantly denounces Cory's dream and pressures his son to quit the highschool football team so that he can work at the local grocery store. The verbal abuse of Cory by Troy is enough to make Cory question whether or not his own father even likes him, but it is not until after Troy's affair with Alberta is out in the open that Troy and Cory's unhealthy relationship reaches a whole new level. After finding out about Troy's affair, Cory stands up to his father in order to protect his mother during an altercation between Troy and Rose. Troy nearly hits Cory, but he is able to stop himself before threatening Cory by saying, "You better stay away from me, boy" (72). Cory and Troy's relationship following this incident is practically nonexistant until the time of their last fight. During that fight, after two months of staying out of his father's way, Cory has finally had enough of Troy's verbal abuse and once again stands up to him. This quarrel ends with Troy nearly hitting Cory with a baseball bat, but he is once again able to stop