Fences Essay

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A Father’s Fatal Mistake

The worst mistake a parent can make is to try to protect their child from the world instead of prepare them for it. In August Wilson’s Fences, our main character Troy Maxson is the father of two boys, Cory and Lyons. Lyons, the older brother, is an aspiring jazz musician trying to follow his dreams. His brother Cory is only a senior in high school with serious skills in the game of football and is even being scouted by big name colleges. Troy has a tough love relationship with these boys, because that’s how his father raised him and it’s all he knows. Troy’s inability to move on from the past leads him to abandon his dreams, and in turn, drag down the dreams of everyone else along with him. When Troy is first notified of the college coach coming to see him on behalf of Cory, he is sitting talking to his friend and co-worker Mr. Bono after their payday like they do every week. Though this seems like an amazing offer, Troy disapproves. He claims that it’s “the white man” that’s going to keep Cory from putting together any type of a career playing football. Rose and Bono try to tell Troy that the game has changed: “Times have changed since you was playing baseball, Troy. That was before the war. Times have changed a lot since then” (Act I, Scene i, page 9). This statement gets Troy very riled up about his playing career in the Negro Leagues, in which he felt he deserved to play in the Majors. This segregation, however, is long past, but Troy is unwilling to see it because he cannot accept that he was never able to live his dream. Now that Cory is being recruited, Troy is being obstructive because he doesn’t realize, or doesn’t want to realize, that black players can be successful at all levels of the game. Another thing Troy fails to realize is that along with getting recruited for football, Cory will also be able to afford much better education due to the scholarship he is getting. If Troy really just wanted to protect Cory from being...
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