Rose, Troy’s wife in the play was the obvious voice of reason between the two; all she wanted was an interrupted happy family life. The fences that she put up were not physical fences but rather emotional and psychological ones used to keep her family in line. These fences were made very clear to both the reader and the other characters in the play. For example when Bono (Troy’s best friend) is questioning Troy’s commitment to Rose he said, “Some people build fences to keep people out… and others build fences to keep people in. Rose wants to hold on to you all. She loves you.” (898). This excerpt perfectly described the different values shared between Rose and Troy but is also a common generalization of gender roles in most family. The only fence Rose ever set up for Troy was one of loyalty and commitment. She believed in the strength in numbers whilst Troy strongly believed in the power of individuality.
Troy on the other hand had a completely different approach when it came to the concept of fences. For him, fences were used to keep people out. Such an example can be found near the end of Act I, Scene IV when Cory and Troy are fighting and Cory says “Tell Mama I’ll be back for my and things” and Troy responded “They’ll be on ...
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...ing to be. Troy talked about life as if it was a game. Yes, its true some aspects can be considered a game, but family is not a game its not something you can take chances with. Unlike baseball when someone strikes out they are sent back to the bench, in a family if someone strikes out they are sent out the door through the fence.
At the end of the day a family is a group effort, at times yes one individual might carry more weight on their shoulders then another. Troy Maxson, never truly carried most of the weight on his shoulders, he would delegate it to the lower levels of the family constantly. Which is why the metaphors and symbols in the play such as baseball and fences illustrate exactly why Troy Maxson’s family life was destined for failure. Anyone can be part of family, the hard part comes when that family needs to run without grinding any gears nonstop.
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