Troy as Atragic Hero
Name: Nhat Nguyen
Troy As ATragic Hero
Everyone deserves a loving and caring group of people that they can call family. In Fences, August Wilson introduces an African American family whose life is based around a fence. In the dirt yard of the Maxson’s property, many relationships come to blossom and wither here. Despite his efforts to do good by his family, the main character Troy Maxson ultimately allows his inner flaws to lead him to his lonely and tragic death. Therefore, Troy Maxson is indeed considered a tragic hero who exhibits qualities greater than the norm, and the main character. There are pieces of evidence throughout the play that further stress this point as being a good father and husband, and caring the family.
Troy Maxson played on a baseball league, and wanted to become a baseball player, but when the major leagues finally opened their doors to black players, Troy was too old and out of his prime. He wasn’t able to compete with the younger society. Troy is a husband to Rose, father to Lyons, Cory, and Raynell, and brother to Gabriel. He is a working class African American man, and he works for the Sanitation Department as a garbage collector. His character is made up of both positive and negative attributes. Troy can be described as controlling because he has all of the authority during the beginning of the play. When Troy’s son mentions an opportunity to get into college football, Troy’s immediate response was to say no to his son. Troy’s thought was protecting his son from having high hopes because he believed the color barrier had not yet been broken at this time. Although this could be seen as Troy not caring for his son’s future, he was simply trying to protect him. Troy is the family breadwinner, and he provided for his wife and his son which is why he was respected. His characteristics were that of a man in charge. Rose asks Troy “what you all out here getting into?” And he responds “what you worried about what we getting into for? This is men talk, woman” (Wilson. 1191) , exemplifying his strong masculine characteristics.
He struggled a lot when he was younger, living with his father because his father did not provide for the family materialistically or emotionally. Growing up in this lifestyle, Troy was either going to learn and live by example, or completely make a life of his own life. Troy always made sure to provide for his family because his own father never did for his family. He was upset about his father in the past, and that is why he always wanted to do good things to support and protect his family. Rose was Troy’s wife and mother of his second child, Cory. Rose is a forty-three-year-old African American housewife who volunteers at her church regularly and loves her family. Troy says he truly loves his wife, “I love this woman. I love this woman so much it hurts. I love her so much…I done run out of ways of loving her” (Wilson.1192). This allows the reader to realize that the Maxson family does have a foundation of love despite Troy’s controlling tendencies. Even though he was somewhat harsh with his words, Cory and Lyons admired their father very much because it was evident that he cared for them very much.