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Troy's Battle With Anger In August Wilson's Fences

1294 words - 5 pages

Troy's Battle with Anger in August Wilson's Fences

Conflicts and tensions between family members and friends are key elements in August Wilson's play, Fences. The main character, Troy Maxon, has struggled his whole life to be a responsible person and fulfill his duties in any role that he is meant to play. In turn, however, he has created conflict through his forbidding manner. The author illustrates how the effects of Troy's stern upbringing cause him to pass along a legacy of bitterness and anger which creates tension and conflict in his relationships with his family.

Troy?s relationship with his father was one, which produced much tension, and had a strong influence on Troy?s relationships with his loved ones as an adult. He had very little respect for his father because his father did not, in Troy?s mind, make his family a priority. At an early age, Troy?s father beat him ?like there was no tomorrow? because he caught Troy getting ?cozy? with a girl (549; I,4). Troy said that ?right there is where [he became] a man? (549; I,4). It was at that moment that Troy made the decision to free himself from his father?s power. Despite the fact that he did eventually escape his father?s wrath, the struggle with his father?s aggressive behavior and lack of love resulted in a coldness that resided in Troy?s heart toward life and love. His father did not care about his children; children were there to work for the food that he ate first. Troy describes his feelings toward his father by saying, ?Sometimes I wish I hadn?t known my daddy. He ain?t cared nothing about no kids. A kid to him wasn?t nothing. All he wanted was for you to learn how to walk so he could start you to working? (548; I,4). Although Troy had very little respect for his father and vowed to be nothing like him, many of his father?s harsh personality traits show up in his own personality. Despite Troy?s continuous attempts to push himself away from anything he had ever known about his father, the inheritance of such irrational behavior was inevitable because it was all he had ever known. The inheritance of this angry behavior was, in turn, the cause of his damaging relationships with his own family. Just as Troy endured his father?s cruel ways, Troy?s family is left with no choice but to try to learn to live with his similar ways.

Troy?s family is one that strives to maintain a sense of harmony and balance in the household. They avoid conflict, knowing that Troy?s irrational reactions are not worth enduring far any reason. The members of the family that makes the most effort to keep the family level is Troy?s wife, Rose. The narrator tells us that Rose is a gentle woman. She cares a great deal for her family and her husband, despite the challenge of making her home a positive environment under the strains of a man with such impossible qualities. The author explains her reasons for enduring Troy by saying that ? her devotion to him stems from her recognition of...

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