Father Son Relationships In Fences

Powerful Essays
August Wilson created many themes throughout his famous play, Fences, but the most prominent one is the relationship between fathers and sons. The three father-son relationships introduced in this play seem to be complicated or difficult to understand. However, it is clear that the relationships built between Troy Maxson and his son Cory, Troy and his other son Lyons, and Troy and his own father are not love-driven. The parallelism of actions, events, and tension amongst each of the father-son relationships in the play illustrate how the sons try to break free from the constraints the father has set, yet in the end, these attempts seem to be pointless as the father leaves an everlasting effect on the sons, ultimately creating a cycle of actions…show more content…
Although it seems as though Cory is determined to escape from what his father wants, he still takes the same path his father went on. This ironic situation is shown when Troy says "I don’t want him to be like me! I want him to move as far away from my life as he can get” (Wilson 481). Throughout the play, Cory is also trying to pursue this individuality, but ends up trying to chase after his dreams in a sport just like Troy. Cory faces a battle inside him as he tries to form a unique identity separate from his father; however, Troy is resistant to Cory's attempts at individuality. Troy's efforts to restrain Cory from being an individual character makes Cory take on drastic measures, such as verbal and physical violence, in an effort to become the person he wants to be. Troy restrains Cory from pursuing his dreams so much that it builds up to a point where Cory points out the truth that Troy is so afraid to hear; “Just cause you didn't have a chance! You just scared I'm gonna be better than you, that's all" (Wilson 493). Sports acts as a barrier between them from ever becoming close, even though they are both interested in them. This confrontation results in Troy counting numbers until Cory…show more content…
The way Troy’s father treats his family prompts Troy in leaving the house in attempt to escape. Despite his efforts to escape from his father, his father seems to have an everlasting effect on Troy. This is seen with the way Troy treats his family, which also drives his own family members to desert him. Due to Troy’s harsh personality that was developed from his father (and from the past), his relationships with his sons become complicated. Troy’s narrow-mindedness causes both Cory and Lyons to push him away from their lives; however, Troy seems to have a large impact on both sons’ lives, with them turning out very similar to Troy. This theme of father-son relationships throughout the play is a very significant one as it drives the whole storyline and leaves the audience mainly thinking about how the father can have such a strong effect on the
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