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Saying Goodbye Essay

2005 words - 9 pages

Growing up, most parents want what is best for their children with the hope that they will lead a better life than the one they had. On the surface, this does not seem to be the case in the relationship between Troy and Cory in August Wilson’s Fences. Troy was a hardworking man who did all he can to provide for his family. Cory worked equally as hard in his athletic career. Troy made a decision to end Cory’s football career out of protection but Cory viewed it as his father’s jealousy. Troy’s rough attitude and relationship towards Cory stems from multiple sources: Troy’s relationship with his own father, his jail time, the fact that he did not make the Major Leagues in baseball due to ...view middle of the document...

Pushing Cory away was the only thing Troy could really do because his father did the same thing to him. From the beginning, his past experiences shaped how he was going to treat Cory.
Like his father, everything in Troy’s life is referred back to this idea of “responsibility”. With this responsibility in place, Troy forms very definite views on who owes what and to whom. He has a responsibility to his family to take care of them, and ensure that they have enough to survive. He has a responsibility to his job, to ensure that he makes enough money to provide and support for his family. He even feels he has a responsibility to Bono and his friends to talk about life and the things that should and could have happened. Too much responsibility can be a burden, and it seems to have taken its toll on the friends and family of Troy, particularly Cory. When Cory asks Troy why he doesn’t like him, his answer is that he does not have a responsibility to like him. His responsibilities are to take care of him and ensure he has the essentials for survival saying “It’s my job, It’s my responsibility…. A man got to take care of his family” (I.III.pg38). Throughout the play Troy essentially loses everyone around him, particularly Cory because he treats them as a responsibility instead of family.
One positive responsibility that Troy learned was to stay away from jail. Spending time in jail influenced Troy in a significant way and is the one positive that Troy had in his relationship with Cory. It enabled him to see that this was not the life that he wanted to live and propelled him to turn his life around. By spending time in jail, Troy missed out on his first son, Lyons, growing up. He does not want Cory to live the life he has had but wants him to be better in this regard as he states “"I don’t want him to be like me! I want him to move as far away from my life as he can get.” (I,iii, pg. 39) Troy does not want Cory to be like him, but to live a different life away from prison.
The one thing that Troy and Cory both have in common are their love of sports. Troy was a great baseball player when he was younger, and Cory was a great football player. One of the greatest disappointments in Troy’s life was the fact that he was never given a shot at the Major Leagues. Being a great Negro League player, Troy felt that he was never given a chance because of his race. This significantly impacts how Troy treats Cory and his football career. Troy refused to let Cory play football, claiming that he didn’t want Cory to suffer from the same sort of heartache. Troy stated: “"The white man ain't gonna let you get nowhere with that football noway" ( 78). He doesn’t want Cory to be mistreated through racial discrimination just as he was back when he was playing sports. Not only did Troy take football away but ultimately a chance at education. What Troy failed to realize was, by allowing Cory to get a football scholarship he was allowing his son to get an education,...

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