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Monet Thomas-Anderson Dr.

Zimmerman Intro to Literature 12/03/11 August Wilson’s Fences: Troy Maxson

“Fences” by August Wilson is the sixth play in a ten-part system titled Pittsburgh Cycle which examines African-American experiences and relations in inner city living from the 1950’s to the early 1980’s. The play, “Fences”, is about a 53 year-old man, Troy Maxson, battling his past while struggling to raise and provide for his family. Throughout the play, Troy is conflicted with the life he wants for his son, Cory, and the life his son wants to live. Troy even goes as far as removing his son from his high school football team, so that the son could not travel down the same worried path in the athletic limelight as he once had. Towards the end of the play, it is revealed that Troy has cheated on his wife and the mistress is now pregnant with Troy’s child. At the end of the play, Troy dies and leaves the lovechild, Raynell, for his wife, Rose, to care for. In this play I believe the character, Troy, is a tragic hero. Troy is a tragic hero because he has two major character flaws that ultimately leads to his demise.

According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is a protagonist that is: 1.) born from nobility (either by birth or wisdom), 2.) has a tragic flaw, 3.) receives enlightenment as a result of actions sought out by the tragic flaw, 4.) dies as a result of the tragic flaw. Although Troy was not born from a noble family, the story begins while Troy is in his early 50’s which suggests that his old age is accompanied by wisdom and he is a character to be respected due to his old-aged wisdom. Two of Troy’s major character flaws are: 1.) his infidelity, and 2.) his inability to communicate his compassion to the ones around him. In act II, scene I, his infidelity is clearly shown when he reveals his unfaithfulness to his wife. In scene III, Troy’s inability to communicate his compassion to the ones around him is shown with his overly aggressive talk with his son, “Liked you? Who the hell say I got to like you? What law is there say I got to like you? Wanna stand

but he feels as though the mere thought of his son knowing that he loves him will leave him vulnerable. I believe Troy dies of a broken heart. I can understand the motives of a man in his position with lovechild with no mother.) the love from his wife and 2. When Raynell is born Troy loses two things: 1. She is innocent…. I believe Troy is a sympathetic character to a certain degree. Therefore he loses the two loves of his life as a result of his infidelity.) the love from his mistress. he realizes the significance of what he has done and understands that he cannot take care of the child without Rose’s approval and assistance. That statement is a veiled request of approval from Rose to help care for the child. A sympathetic character is a character with whom the reader can identify with and care about.” In this scene. . and this request of approval from Rose is his enlightenment of the feelings of others.” Troy knows in his heart he loves his son. but I do not sympathize with his infidelity. She don’t know nothing about grownup’ business. Although Troy does not die as a direct result of his infidelity.and she ain’t got no mama. Throughout the story I often found myself caring more about the people around Troy and how they were affected by Troy’s actions then actually caring about Troy and his actions. She aint but a wee bittie old thing. Troy experiences enlightenment in act III. it is revealed that Troy has never considered other people’s emotions when he takes action.up in my face and ask a damn fool-ass question like that. as he stands on the porch with Raynell and says “Rose…I’m standing here with my daughter in my arms. Throughout the play.

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