Troy is not a hero in the play. Throughout the play, it gets evident that Troy has a lot of
underlying and unsolved matters in his life that prompt him to act in various ways. I would
describe his personality as chatty, brave, grumpy, hardworking, mean, and rude. Throughout the
play, however, it becomes evident that Troy has personal struggles and history like abusive
family relationships where himself, including his mother, ran away from their abusive father.
Fences help to gain empathy concerning Troy, even while pinpointing his many mistakes and
shortcomings (Wilson 6). The play depicts Troy as a hardworking father, husband, and friend
who sacrifices his own desired and needs to provide for his loved one. Troy, however, does not
have a personality that accommodates people since he kicks out two of his sons while shattering
their dreams and goals about playing sports or music.
Troy Maxson’s description
The fifty-three-year-old man is charismatic, chatty, and hardworking. Even before he
gets home, it remains clear to note that Troy is hardworking and talkative. Bono, his long time
friend that he met when locked up, attests that working with Troy brings him joy as the man with
large hands acts as a guide and brother to Bono. Troy, however, loves his family. Upon getting
home in the afternoon, Troy openly flirts with his wife Rose, even in the presence of Bono. His
destructive nature comes out when Rose mentions A&P as a better alternative store from Bella
(Wilson 11). His upright and traditional character of viewing concepts and aspects of life show
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that he’d rather pay more for products since he has room for credit rather than go to an altogether
Troy, nonetheless, turns adamant and uncooperative concerning his children's choices.
Lyon and Cory both decide to pursue their dreams and goals in music and sports. Troy does not
like the proposition from his failed baseball career. The father continually reminds his children
that they would achieve nothing through pursuing passion; instead, they remained better in
finding a job like the garbage collector. Troy always engages in fights and arguments with his
son. First, he kicked out Lyon because he refused to get responsibility for the sake of music.
Even when his son borrows him $10, Troy uses the situation to talk about how he only sees his
son whenever he needs some money (Wilson 20). Troy also argues with Cory a lot, especially
when Cory goes off for football practice without handling his chores, including mending the
fence. Fences also explain that Troy gets a daughter with another lady apart from Rose that
completely changes the couple's relationship. The entire of Tory's family always remains in
arguments from Tory’s unwavering opinions and rules under his roof.
Layer by Layer
Troy's struggles and history remain realized by analyzing the play layer by segment.
Throughout the play, it remains evident that Troy has a lot of underlying challenges that he
continues to face, even with his family. First, once he explains his father's story, it is evident why
he insists on independence among his sons. Troy's father, as he put it, was the devil himself. His
father's nature would soon lead him to run away to find his life. Troy had no option but to turn to
steal. Once he met Rose and had a child, he would take three times as much as before to protect
his family (Wilson 54). Despite the acts he got involved in, it remains clear to the audience that
he performed the acts from good intentions specially focused on providing for his entire family.
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Troy, however, does not comprehend that his era and that of his sons remain different. Even
though he insists on independence, Troy sometimes forces instructions requiring strict
followthrough from his family.
Troy has a lot of struggles and fences. First, he intended to change his job from a
garbage collector to a driver. During the beginning of the play, he draws attention from drivers
when he asks the reason behind all drivers only being white. Troy later presents his case to the
commissioner's office and gets the job (Wilson 7). The concept represents the first fence that
Troy overcomes. In his home, however, there are a lot of fences not yet defeated. First, his
relationship with his sons seems to go from bad to worse. Lyon does not live in the house, and
Cory has no respect left for his father. Lyon had to leave home from his father's orders because
he refused to get a job and focus on music. Cory, on the other hand, finds himself stuck with
chores despite his love for football. Constant arguments concerning Troy's ways of living
contradicting with that of his sons represent a fence that Troy does not get to overcome. Troy
also loses Rose's love and respect when he gets a child with another woman. Despite the couple's
talk on the matter, Rose does not similarly love Troy after realizing his deeds.
Despite Troy's violent actions, especially against his son, we gain insight throughout the
play for him based on various reasons. First, Troy did not experience any form of fatherly love
from his father. If anything, he began to take care of himself from a young age. The era that
brought up Troy compared to that of his sons, on the other hand, is different. Troy grew up in a
time when working at a job meant everything. His sons, however, are in an age of self-
expression where all career matters to people. Comprehending such differences remained
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invisible for the fifty-three-year-old. Troy is also trying to feed and protect his family to his best
ability (Wilson 78). Even though he fails at raising his family and taking care of his wife,
ordeals, and circumstances that came before him prove that his toughness came from the point of
love instead of hate or despise.
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Wilson, August, and Seret Scott. Fences. Spark Publishing/SparkNotes LLC,