The Fences of a Salesman

Topics: Suicide, Baseball Pages: 6 (2564 words) Published: May 8, 2013
The Fences of a Salesman
Finding two corresponding plays can be a bit difficult especially when they are written by to different playwrights. For this essay I chose to link together the plays Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and Fences by August Wilson. The two of these plays compare to one another in multiple ways, but they also have their contrasting features. Most importantly, these plays connect by both of the fathers roles. Rather it be the relationship between the fathers and their sons, their motives as fathers, their outlook on life or the way that the play is written, these two plays are alike as well as set apart from one another. Death of a salesman has an ironic title that coincides with the story. Sixty-three year old Willy Loman, a husband, brother, father and also salesman is an emotionally distraught character in this story. Willy has been through a lot which has caused him to become insecure and unappreciative to life, along with that he does understand himself. He has also been quite blind to love that his family has been trying to offer him. He seems very confused with everything that has been thrown at him and he is ready to give up by committing suicide. He has two sons, Biff and Happy. Willy looks to Biff to be like him, a great salesman, or so he thinks that he is. Fences by is one of those plays that makes the audience dislike a character. Although we know that it is just a character, the way that it is written is as if it is real life. Troy Maxson was one of the main characters, and also the character hated most in the play. The characteristics that he possessed made him the one to dislike. Troy was selfish, jealous and may have been a bit overprotective to the point where it made it seem that he was jealous of his own son. Troy had two sons also, Cory and Lyons. Troy did not have a close relationship with his son Lyons because he was from a previous marriage, but he also did not have one with Cory because he does not want Cory to follow in his footsteps as an athlete when Cory wants to. Both Willy and Troy want their sons to be like them in some sort of way. Willy has this idea that he has always been this great salesman and wants Biff to follow in his footsteps. Troy on the other hand does not want his son to follow the same route that he did. These fathers compare as well as contrast from one another. Neither of them have the relationship with their sons that they think. Both of these men sons are not happy with that way they try to run their lives and it pushes them away from their fathers. Willy and his son Biff are closer than Willy and Happy, but they still are not as close as Willy wants them to be. Willy makes everything as if it is better than it really is which is why he is so unhappy. Let him tell it, he was the best salesman ever, but in his mind that is not what he really thought of himself. He never thought that he was good enough which is why he wants his son to follow in his footsteps. Willy thinks that Biff son becoming a successful salesman like he wishes he were, would help him cope with the fact that he was never what he wanted to be. Although things did not work out how Willy would have loved them to, he still hopes his son’s future works out that way. Dissimilar to Willy wanting his son to follow his footsteps, Troy disagrees with Cory following his sports future. Back in his day Troy was an excellent baseball player, but never made it anywhere because he was African-American. Cory wants to play football in his future and he has the talent to do so. Troy feels that if Cory were to give up everything and focus on being a pro athlete, he will eventually get let down. What Troy wants for Cory is for him to grow and be a man and take care of his family by getting a real job. He says to his son, “I thought we had a understanding about this football stuff? You suppose to keep up with your chores and hold that job down at the A&P. Ain’t been around all day on a...
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