As humans we all have certain motivations behind every action that we exhibit. This is called a hierarchy of needs, and in 1943 a scientist by the name of Abraham Maslow theorized it. When he discovered this characteristic of the human body, he came out with an organized chart, or pyramid. His pyramid showed five different levels, Basic needs, Safety, Love and Belonging, Self esteem, and Self-Actualization. Basically he created a blueprint for life. First you have to lay your foundation with your basic needs, then when you have those you add on safety and so on and son, until you get to Self-Actualization. Once you’ve reached the top, you’ve made it. But it is also saying that life is life and you can not do anything about that. Like in August Wilson’s play Fences when he says “You got to take the crooked with the straights” he is saying that in life, not only do you have to deal with and learn the easy stuff, but you also have to adjust and learn the hard things.
In Fences the main character’s name is Troy Maxson, and Troy is the perfect character to analyze through Mr. Maslow’s theory. Troy does not even reach the top, he stops at the average “self esteem” level. His past relationship with his father was not stable, and as an adult, he recalls this relationship. These memories affect his self-esteem, and it harms his relationships with others. It just goes to show that no one is perfect, that even if you have a wife and a home and kids, doesn’t mean you will necessarily have a happy life. Just take the Maxson family.
Troy is set when it comes to the first level of basic needs. Is he breathing? Yes. Does he have food? Yes. Does he have a home? Yes. He has everything that a person needs to survive. Thus he can move on with his life and to the next step. He has laid the foundation of the life house, and he can now move on to the walls.
When it comes to safety with Troy, it is almost like he is safe, but his family and their home life...
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