Analysis Of Fences

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Fences presents three striking generations; between Troy, his father, and his son, duty and development are shaped by trauma. But Lyons Maxom, Troy’s first son, takes up a unique position between the generations. He has neither the unyielding will, nor the hard-fought independence, nor the gut-wrenching sacrifice of his father and brother. Instead, he has distance. Using dependence for independence, Lyons creates a space for himself that is almost a paradox: separate but intimate, scarce but filling. Lyons begins the play at a certain distance from Troy. He comes regularly for the ritual of receiving or paying back money, but each interaction he has with his father reveals some of his bitterness. He accepts no criticism from Troy about his lifestyle, saying “You can't change me, Pop…If you wanted to change me, you should have been there when I was growing up” (1.1.460-462). Lyons regards Troy with a certain amount of disdain; while he continually complains that he can’t find a job, he utterly refuses…show more content…
The brothers’ relationships with their father run in opposite directions. In Act I Cory struggles to obey his father while Lyons doesn’t hesitate to discount Troy’s opinion. By Act II Lyons is embracing Troy’s views, praising him, and even reciting his mantra, while Cory is desperate to defy orders even from beyond the grave (2.5.85-96). Ironically, it is Lyons’ distance from Troy that allows him to grow closer to him. He sees his father frequently on Fridays, when Troy is paid, drinking, and joking with Bono. In this way, Lyons sees the best of Troy; he gets the wisdom without the wrath, and the provision without the control. Rose and Cory speak about Troy’s huge shadow, and the amount of space he took up in the house (2.5). But Lyons simply isn’t in the house. His limited contact with his father fosters a more fulfilling relationship for him than Cory receives while living in the same house as
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