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Fences Essay: Father and Son

  • Date Submitted: 12/06/2012 12:26 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 71.3 
  • Words: 1001
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Resent and Understanding
The late 1950’s and 1940’s were drastically different times for African Americans; while the color barrier in the 40’s was still strong, blacks and whites started to integrate in the 50’s.   American playwright, August Wilson, sets Fences in a pre-civil rights era, and describes Troy Maxson’s tense relationship with his son Cory.   In Fences, Troy’s reasons for not wanting Cory to play football are because of Troy’s unwillingness to let go of the past; this includes Troy’s experiences with his father, and Troy’s failures in baseball and in raising his first son Lyons, which conveys August Wilson’s idea that one needs understand and accept one’s past, not fight against it.
Troy’s shortcomings in the baseball world and in raising Lyons develop a stronger sense of responsibility in Troy to shape Cory’s future.   When Troy and Bono talk about Jackie Robinson, his spite towards his past shows when he states, ““I done seen a hundred niggers play baseball better than Jackie Robinson. … I’m talking about if you could play ball then they ought to have let you play.   Don’t care what color you were. Come telling me I come along too early…”(10).   Troy is resentful towards his past in baseball because he believes it is unjust that he did not make it into the major leagues just because he “came along” a couple years too early.   Troy’s bitterness towards baseball leads him to hate the idea of sports in general, which leads Troy to push Cory towards a life with a steady job, not with one based on whether Cory is going to “come along” in the football world.   Later in the play when Troy tells his life story to Bono, Lyons, and Rose, Troy says, “I was young and anxious to be a man.   Met your mama and had you.   What I do that for? Now I got to worry about feeding you and her.   Got to steal three times as much… they put me in the penitentiary and locked me up for fifteen years”(52).   Because of Troy’s illegal behavior, Troy was thrown in jail for the majority...

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