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Essay about The Importance of the Characters in Fences by August Wilson

Decent Essays
Fences is a 1983-published play by American Playwright, August Wilson. In

Fences, we are introduced to several characters that serve multiple purposes to the

protagonist and main character of the play, Troy Maxson. Troy is a 53 year old man who

works as a garbage man, and lives with his wife, Rose and their teenage son, Cory. Along

with Rose and Cory, Fences introduces us to three more members of the Maxson family:

Lyons, the first born son to Troy, the step-son to Rose, and the half-brother to Cory. Gabriel,

the mentally-disabled brother of Troy, brother-in-law to Rose, and uncle to Cory and Lyons,

and then there is Raynell. She appears at the end of the play, and is the daughter of Troy

and his lover
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Instead of fulfilling his own

dreams as Major League baseball player, we see his son, Cory, taking that path instead,

albeit for football instead of baseball. Unlike many adults that would be proud of their

childrens’ accomplishments, Troy is instead jealous and envious of how successful Cory is

becoming, already being sought after by colleges for his talent in football. Troy, already

been through so much with his son Lyons, his disabled brother Gabriel, and the fact that

he’s done his time in prison and is now at fifty three years old, working as a garbage man,

became a father that Cory never wanted, ultimately leading to Troy’s own demise. While it

wasn’t necessarily Cory’s fault for his father’s death, the events that lead to Cory’s

succession, soon lead to his father’s death. If Cory wasn’t the bright, humble, and

educated boy that he was, Troy would have no one to be jealous of, not evens Lyons, and

he wouldn’t have passed away due to the amounts of stress he took upon himself from

being the envious person that he was. Even though Cory didn’t want to be the antagonist,

he ended up becoming just that. All his positive reflections would soon kill the protagonist

that Troy was.

And what of the other members of Troy’s family, and his best friend Bono? They all

knew what was to come. Gabriel himself spent the whole play trying to
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