In the play Fences by August Wilson, we continue to see examples of Troy hurting the people closest to him. He neglects to show that he cares about his wife, rolls, his brother Gabriel and his son Cory. Troy had nothing to go on but the harsh example set by his father and this is why I believe that it is the cause for Troy feeling compelled to be stuck in this life having had been fenced previously by the way his father was causing him to fence others in. His childhood being cut so short by him having to grow up early with the cruel and abusive father and fend for his siblings rather than just be a child.
Troy told us a story from when he was 14, “My daddy was looking for me. We down there by the creek enjoying ourselves when my daddy come up on us and surprised us. He had them leather straps off the mule and commenced to whupping on me . . . quite naturally I run to get out of the way” (52). After his father decided to beat him he proceeded with raping the girl that he knew that Troy deeply cared about. Causing Troy to finally lose the fear of his father and making him believe that in that moment he became a man. Life is filled with anxiety over certain issues and begin to dread of the inevitable day of our death. In this play, we are introduced to Troy Maxson who was known to be an aggressive man who constantly battling the imaginary battle with death. His life is based on supporting his family well and making sure they have everything that is of necessity and even comforts that he did not have in his own childhood. Also, influenced by his own abusive childhood, he becomes an abusive father who rules his younger son, Cory’s life based on his own past experiences. When the issue comes up of Cory having a bright future ahead of him on the basis of his skill in sports and if he joins the football team , being told he will get a scholarship .
Troy’s life was consistently compared to Coreys in that he made it clear that Negro baseball players do not make it and that instead of playing baseball Cory should find something else to do like be a garbage man. Although Troy had a true love for baseball his life and job mean nothing to him something that he hates because of racial boundaries that he claims will affect Cory and cause sports to be a waste of his time. In Troy his mind because he wasn’t able to become a major league slugger and was not paid accordingly for his talents so He decides to discourage Cory rather than give him confidence to play football. Just as Troy’s father Troy’s father made him lose that Troy’s father made him lose that confidence Troy’s father made him lose that confidence when he decided to rape the girl that Troy liked when he was younger.
Although being an adult that did not mean that he was fully matured when it came to finances.Throughout his marriage with rose , she took the role of being responsible for the finances, being given Troy’s paycheck every week when he comes home and then rose later would use it to pay bills and buy groceries for their family. End it is clear that while doing so he resents the action of giving the money to Rose. As exemplified while he was complaining to his friend Bono know that all his money goes to her and will only see a small portion of it ever returning him.But what Troy fails to take into consideration or care about is that Rose personality and life is intertwined with his own and the more resentment he has towards all she handles, the more he begins to wanna leave and escape her.
As a man growing up with so many trivials in his life, and having death as one of Troys biggest insecurities. As he aged it was almost as if death became closer to him and that he felt closer to dying as the years went by. With that being said it was noticed that throughout his scandalous affair with the woman named Alberta it was basically his way of holding death in absence and trying to feel that feeling of being youthful again . As death later becomes even more close to his life when the mistress dies while giving birth to his baby girl. Which at this point he says “ain’t nobody else got nothing to do with this. This is between you and me man-to-man. You stay on the other side of the fence until you ready for me.” Making the fence very symbolic in the situation that it symbolizes his insecurity about dad and how he put up a blockade for protection in this case being the fences. Leaving us with this very aggressive imagery of Troy and how he fears nothing in life except death. Because he had to grow up at such a young age it was almost inevitable for him to be able to mature in the way of a boy that was just able to go straight to school and live what was said to be a normal life.
In psychology there is a word called the “father complex ” which is said to be a person psychological effects from an individual poor relationship with their father. This claim is also said to be “Daddy Issues” generally when a person has an issue with their relationship and it involves a male in which they themselves did not have a father figure during their childhood it tends to be said that into any adult relationship they decide to have they end up either being a poor male themselves or being with one. In Troy’s life he was consistently exposed to a bad father figure and later became a bad father figure to Cory. This being a prime example that his father’s treatment towards him affected the way he treated his son. It is sort of like a repetition because Troy never felt like he satisfied his dad he portrayed that emotion on to Cory. Being that his father was absent emotionally it later causes Cory to feel as if he wasn’t liked or cared for by his father .
There is no instruction manual as to how you can become a good father or a good mother but it is all up to the person. Before it might have meant to providing and protecting your family but for the newer generations it includes Waymore from washing the dishes, making dinner or taking kids to school in the 20th century it seems as if fathers are said to have a bigger job. “Positive and caring fathering is important,” Pollack said. “It is equally as important as going out and earning a living.” Being positive alone was not a trait that Troy had let alone was caring for his child. Troy was barely even able to care for his own wife and continued to make it known that earning a living was very important role in the household or without him there would be no food on the table a roof over their heads.
He lacked the two most important things needed in both a marriage and the upbringing of a child which is love and compassion. She centered her life around him and he gave her a surprise child from his mistress . Then there was Gabriel who after a while decided to move out and went to live with Miss Pearl down the street. Causing tried to become angry and later sending Gabriel to an institution since Gabriel would therefore be able to give half of his money to Troy that he got from the war. It was obvious the Troy gave no mind to Gabriel‘s condition or well-being but all he wanted was the money. Then lastly Cory who always felt disliked by his father and was forced to work a job he did not pay no mind to.
Forcing his son to give up the sport that he truly loves because Troy wasn’t able to play professionally and didn’t want to allow his son to have the chance to be better than him. Proving a sense of jealousy simply for his own child. Troy being ignorant to the change in time and that black people had chances just like his son he neglected to give his son a chance that he never had. You should be able to love your son and care for them, wishing the best for their every want and need. All of these examples show that Troy Was not the best man. He was selfish and self-centered when it came to things around him. Everything always had to revolve around him or be about him. It was his way or the highway. Within this play it was troy that was judge the most although he said during his anger onto Cory.
Making his own son feel less than what he was worth . He didn’t even care about his own brother Gabriel and later was able to steal money from him and send him to an institution for his own benefit. He didn’t seem to care about anybody but himself . Made especially obvious when he gave up his mistresses child after her death to his wife in which he cheated on with the mistress. All of these examples make it clear that Troy is an uncaring husband, horrible father, selfish brother and a genuinely uncaring person.
In conclusion I believe that it wasn’t that he was a bad man but rather he was neglecting to try to be a better man for himself and for others that care about him the most. He chose to care more about himself then his own wife that would cook, clean and sleep with him daily. In lack of a better term he was just like his father. Instead of trying to be better than his father the man who raped a girl he loved he decided to go behind the person he loved and father a child to another woman.Although his childhood was cut so short by him having to grow up early due to his abusive father he did not grow to be the man that was better than his father but rathe although his childhood was cut so short by him having to grow up early due to his abusive father, he did not grow to be the man that was better than his father. I will not disagree that he did have a hard life and having to fend for boss his siblings and himself at a young age and later fend for a family but just because you have bad things happen doesn’t mean that you have to act out in a bad way. There is no Excuse for abuse from her father but there is also no excuse for Troy to have done what he did to his family including his deceiving his wife , cheating his son and taking money from his disabled brother.