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Character Analysis of August Wilson's Fences Essay

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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. Lyons is Troy's son by a previous marriage and Cory is Troy's son by his current marriage. Neither Lyons nor Cory share a close relationship with their father and Troy is mostly to blame for that.
Looking at Troy's relationship with his eldest son, Lyons, you can immediately see that their relationship is strained from the minute that Lyons makes his first appearance. During the time when the audience first meets Lyons, Troy rudely greets him by asking "What you come 'Hey, Popping' me for?" (13). You soon learn that Lyons is a struggling musician who often asks to borrow money from his father. You also learn that Troy is not at all supportive of Lyons' dreams of being a musician, even though that is what makes Lyons' happy. Troy constantly insults Lyons' by telling him that he is lazy because he would rather pursue his dreams than get a job similar to the one that Troy holds as a garbage man. Although Troy's relationship with Lyons is the least complicated of all of his relationships, the strain...


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...el permanently put away in an institue due to his mental health problems. Although we do learn that Troy accidentally signed the papers to lock Gabriel away because of his inability to read, we also know that he never took initiative to free Gabriel. Troy selfishly keeps money that is not his while keeping his own brother locked in a mental institute. It is clear that Gabriel and Troy's relationship is anything but healthy.
Throughout the play Fences, by August Wilson, we are introduced to several of the Troy Maxson's family members. We soon learn that because of Troy's personality traits, he is unable to sustain a healthy relationship. Troy is a father, a husband, and a brother, and unfortunately, he makes it impossible for any of those numerous relationships to thrive.




Works Cited

Wilson, August. Fences. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2007. Print.


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