Betrayal In The Play Fences

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The play, Fences, portrays a former Negro baseball player whose life goes from horrible to complete hell. Throughout the story, the reader is taken on a journey through Troy Maxson’s life and the life of people around him. Readers can comprehend the meaning of Fences through analysis and interpretation of the play’s theme, setting, conflicts, and the concept of fences. Wilson’s play has a great deal of themes within his work. For example, one of the most prominent themes would be betrayal. Every character in Fences goes through a situation dealing with betrayal by another character. The main character, Troy experiences betrayal by his parents, his life beings to become destructive. He was “abandoned by his mother at the age of eight, [and] fled a brutal, lustful father at the age of fourteen” (Vandersee 5). Because Troy did not get to experience a stable relationship with his father and mother, it lead into a life that would keep tumbling downhill until he slowly but surely hit rock bottom. Another betrayal in the play would be that Troy cheated on his wife with a woman named Alberta. Rose and Troy have been together for eighteen years and that kind of betrayal really took a toll out of the family, especially Rose. Troy tells his wife that he cannot give up his affair with the other woman saying, “She gives me a different idea… I can sit up in her house and laugh… Rose, I can’t give that up” (2.1. 246- 255). This makes Rose feel even more betrayed because her husband told her that he was having a baby by another woman, and is going to continue seeing her. The third betrayal in the pay would be when Troy put his brother, Gabriel, into a mental institution so that he could benefit from his brother’s insurance money. That would hav... ... middle of paper ... ...tween Troy and his youngest son, Cory. August Wilson’s play, Fences, is ultimately about the conflict between a father and his son because they come for two totally different generations. Troy refuses to see life from the perspective of his son in a world that has changed since he was younger. . Cory cannot easily embrace his father’s views on the society they live in either. Another conflict arises between the two of them when Troy tells Cory’s coach that he can no longer play football. He did not get a chance to continue his career in sports, so he feels that his son cannot do that as well. Troy is afraid that his son will be better than he was, and Cory knows this. In fact, he states it in the play saying “You just afraid I’m gonna be better than you, that’s all” (1. 4. 372). These two characters have a deep rooted conflict that has no sign of ever being solved.
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