TroyMaxson in the Play Fences
Inthe play Fences, August Wilson depicts Troy Maxson, the protagonistin the play as a strong willed man. Troy is an African-American, whoworks in the sanitation department, his job designation being liftinggarbage into trucks. He is married to Rose and has three childrenLyons, Cory, and Raynell. He is the family’s breadwinner, somethingthat he takes pride in. However, most times he fails to give hisfamily the love and attention that they would love. In the play, heis depicted as a character with self-created illusions. Due to this,he is often seen to be in conflict with all the other characters inthe play who cannot agree with his philosophy. At the beginning ofthe play, Troy is one character that is admired and loved. He is evenable to get away with his secret affair. However, when he dies, hischaracter is questioned where his family is left with an inheritancedispute to resolve.
Thefirst scene is at Troy’s home on a Friday evening after receivinghis payment. Troy Maxson is married to Rose Maxson. He is the fatherto three children, Lyons, who is from a previous marriage, Cory, hisson with Rose, and Raynell, his child from his secret affair withAlberta. His environment at home is surrounded by conflict. Even ifhe takes pride in being the family’s breadwinner, he fails hisfamily by not respecting their choices, which brings about manyconflicts.
Troymanages to keep his affair with Alberta secret, but when she dieswhile giving birth, Rose comes to know about it. Even if Rose agreesto raise the child, Raynelle, she says that she is no longer Troy’swoman.
Anotherconflict at home arises when a college football team recruits his sonCory, and he strongly refuses to grant him permission. Troy’s homeenvironment is one whose moods change often. This is seen, whereasthey chat with Rose and Bono, his son Lyons comes in. According toTroy, the only reason that his son is around is because he neededsome money. He refuses to give Lyons ten dollars, but his wife isable to convince him to give his son the ten dollars.
Troyworks as a garbage collector together with Bono. From this job, he isable to support his family as well as tend to his social life. Troyis an advocate for equality at work. His dialogue with Bono beginswith the discussion of a recent complaint that Troy had made at work.In the complaint, Troy had asked his boss, Mr. Rand why black menloaded the garbage trucks while the white men drove the trucks.According to Bono, this was not a wise thing to do as the managementcould fire him for raising these concerns. However, he is not coweredbecause, to him, equality should be accorded to all. In the end,Troy’s concerns are addressed when he gets a promotion at work andbecomes a driver.
Troy’ssocial environment is antagonistic. He is a man with three children,all by different women. He comes out as a very social character who,apart from chilling with his friend, also enjoys family times withhis wife. He is one character that, despite the conflicts in hislife, he is able to have a social life.
Heis fond of his friend Bono, who he has known for thirty-three years.On Friday evenings, together with Bono, they enjoy their drink whilecatching up on each other’s life. It is while they are catching upthat Bono asks Troy whether there is a relationship between him andAlberta, the girl at the bar. He vehemently denies ever seeing anyoneelse since the time he got married to Rose. Through this setting,Troy comes out as a very relaxed man where they chat happily with hisfriend and his wife when she joins the two.
Hisrelationship with his children is a bit sour. According to him, theonly reason Lyons, his thirty-four years old son comes home isbecause he needs money. The tension between him and his son Coryexplodes when the two get at each other with a baseball bat. Eventhough he wins this fight, the aftermath is that he loses his sonforever, and a bad relationship ensues.
Allthe characters in the play disagree with him where he demands thatthey live practical and responsible lives while he is left to dowhatever he feels like. He does not see life as it is presented tohim, but he wants to live it the way he sees it fit.
Troyfails to manage his social life and ends up losing all those who areimportant to him. He loses his mistress, his wife, children and alsohis friend Bono. Bono and Troy no longer hang out together after hispromotion at work. Bono also gets disappointed that Troy has anaffair outside his marriage.