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Fences by August Wilson -Character analysis: Troy Maxson
This is a zealous man who practices work ethics and endeavors to instill these principles in his own children regardless of the challenges he faces. He is keen in enlightening his children on his role within his family. This helps him sail smoothly through criticism of his favorite match, football. For instance, Cory demands to know the reason as to why Troy, his father does not love him. Troy responds by saying that his love is manifest in the provision of basic needs to Cory like clothing, food and shelter. This clearly depicts Troy as a man who believes in his hard work to fend for his family. He has male chauvinism though he loves his wife. He expects his wife to be submissive to him.
This is evident during his conversation with Bono whereby he tells his wife to return to the kitchen after answering to his question regarding meals. He says, “…well go back in the house and let me and Bono finish what we were talking about.This is men talk.” (Menson-Furr , 2008 , 34).He exhibits self-guilt for his failure to accommodate his brother. Whenever Gabriel, his brother, seeks to know whether Troy is unhappy with him, Troy assumes nothing is happening. This depicts him as a dishonesty person and a schemer. He is a great friend of Bono, with whom he shares his problems and a drinking partner. He has maintained his friendship with Bono since the time they were in jail.
Moreover, Bono knows of Troy’s Negro league career. He is also respected and admired because he has overcome many setbacks in his life. In addition, he is a responsible father given that he provides basic needs for his children. Indeed, he has tried to meet his family needs all the time. He is a tragic hero given his role in the whole play. This is because he has fortitude which has enabled him to pursue all that he deems right. He is also courageous because he is able to face many situations, which many people will shy away from. For instance he a faced his wife, Rose, and revealed to her of, his relationship with Alberta.
He maintains his position that his son Cory should not go to the football college regardless of the scholarship he is given. In this regard, he is a tragic hero because he foresees the danger his son will face whereas everybody could consider him insensitive and a conservative. He reflects back to his days when he was a player of baseball. He could not allow his son to undergo the same racism and discrimination he faced during that time. This move is as a result of his love for his son and consideration. Troy is a non-conformist because he out rightly refuses to consent to his son’s admission into the football college. Furthermore, he is an understanding and wise character because he successfully explains to his wife of the reasons as to why he opposed Cory joining college.
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Moreover, he understands his children hence he does not get mad at Cory when he challenges and accuses him of jealousy. Hi son remarks, “You just scared I'm gonna be better than you, that's all.” (Menson-Furr,2008,57). Troy is also bitter because of the mistreatment and discrimination he experienced while he was in the Negros league. Unfortunately, he loses his son at last as he maintains his hardline position on the future of Cory. Troy is also an ambitious person who stops at nothing when he wants to achieve great things.
It is clear that he meant good for his son, Cory. He is also a very charismatic character. This is evident in the manner in which he narrates the story of his imaginary adversary. In addition, he openly confesses of his relationship with Alberta. He is a character who takes the center stage in the play. In fact, all the characters involved revolve around him given his influential and unique personality .Troy is also immoral because he commits extra-marital affair with Alberta and he also exposes his wickedness by revealing it to his wife Rose. He is a great schemer because he is able to manipulate the rest of the actors to his own advantage .He wisely employs conflict in the play hence making the play exhilarating.
It is interesting that he fully believes in his own perception and illusions. This has made him an outstanding character because he opposes any view which contradicts his own. He is also an ardent critic of other people. For instance, he criticizes Rose’s game of playing with numbers, he is critical of Cory’s desire to join Football College and Lyon’s resolution to be an accomplished musician. Troy is depicted as a dynamic person because his past lifestyle does not match with his current lifestyle. His name means a mixture of good and bad. In this regard, Troy happens to be imaginary line, which separates the free and the slave states (Menson-Furr,2008). In this regard, Troy is a character which mingles with the norms in society while he also represents the stereotypical hardliners. This quality has set him apart as a great character in the play.
For instance, he is seen as a potential champion in the baseball league though he is eliminated from the contest because of racial discrimination. He is also involved in odd jobs in the society, which evokes many questions with regard to his social status. Troy is also hypocritical in the play. This is evident when he displays his immorality yet he demands if his subjects to be responsible and pragmatic in their moves. Moreover, he criticizes the racial discrimination observed at the Negro league of baseball.
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He also opposed the high number of the white who acted as lifters as compared to the high number of black Africans acting as trash truck drivers. He is also a talented musician and a story-teller, who utilized these skills in entertaining his family. Indeed, he preserves his culture through song and practice of other cultural activities. This helps the people to understand the difference between the past times and the modern times with regard to the cultural values and lifestyles. His narrations give insight to his audience on the past events and their significance. It is also interesting that Troy extends the bitterness of being discriminated, to his sons instead of containing it to himself.
This leads to a plethora of reactions from his two sons, Cory and Lyon. In turn, Troy develops a negative attitude towards them to an extent Cory complains of hatred. He also adopted the habits of his father like the playing of football and the attitude he developed towards his sons. In this regard, he manages to balance between basic provisions to his family and instilling discipline in them. He is also assertive in the sense that he demands to be heard and obeyed by all his subjects regardless of faulty in his directives. Furthermore, he is an emotional and harsh character. This is evident in the way in which he vented his anger in abusing his sons because of bitterness of his past failures.
Troy also adopted his father’s selfish nature whereby he thinks of himself first instead of considering his family first. It is ironical that Troy’s character as a tragic hero is the cause of his demise. In fact, he is seen to endeavor in tirelessly providing for his family though he has many personal issues he contends with. He is depicted as a controlling character because he determines the career course of his son, Cory, he is the sole breadwinner of his family. This earned him respect, honor and reverence among his friends. Moreover, this made his relationship with Rose stronger because, he is a force to reckon with, at all times.
His friend, Bono treaded softly in order to maintain his relationship with him. In addition, he is closed-minded owing to the fact that he does not think of any other remedy to the racial discrimination of white. He is only complacent with his stand on barring Cory from pursuing his career choice. Troy is a criminal because he is said to have known Bono when he was in cell. His immoral behavior is manifest in his marriage life whereby he bore Lyon with a different woman from his current woman, Rose.a
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