Though Troy Maxon in August Wilson’s “Fences” and Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s “ Death of a Salesman” are set in different eras and societies, they both have ambitions for fame and success. However, their approaches to achieving their objectives and interacting with their families vary. Willy Loman’s belief in the American dream drives him to succeed. He thinks anyone can succeed with the necessary effort and commitment. Willy has spent his entire life as a traveling salesman, but despite his best efforts, he has yet to find the success he seeks. Therefore, Willy turns to deception and delusion, frequently inflating his sales figures to please his family and boss. To increase his confidence, he also imagines having conversations with his …show more content…
He thinks attaining success is the secret to overcoming these restrictions and achieving true equality. In contrast to Willy, Troy is realistic and aware of the world's harsh realities, acknowledging the systemic racism and inequality he encounters. Nevertheless, his drive for success needs to be revised, and he occasionally uses unethical methods to get what he wants. For instance, he steals from his employer to support his business; she is his wife to another woman. Despite the shortcomings, Troy genuinely loves his family and tries to shield them from the harsh realities of the outside world. In addition, Troy views sports as a way to connect with his son Cory since Troy was a former Negro league baseball player. Troy holds the same view as Willy Loman about how success in sports translates into success in life. He is determined to prevent his son from experiencing the same disappointment he had in sports. However, Troy’s obsession with sports has caused him to disregard other crucial facets of his son's life, like his academic endeavors. Even though Cory is talented at football, he finds it difficult to balance his father’s expectations with his aspirations for the …show more content…
Because he expects his sons to realize his unrealized ambitions, Willy and his sons have a strained relationship. Even though he failed to realize his dreams, he is critical of his son Biff's lack of success. Willy's wife, Linda, is also neglected because he ignores her concerns due to his obsession with fame and material success. On the other hand, Troy has a complicated but ultimately loving relationship with his sons. Although harsh with them, he also teaches them important life lessons. The characters in both, please use sports to bond with their sons, but we also witness the unfavorable effect of their single-minded focus on athletic excellence. The myth that all it takes to succeed in life is to be popular is ultimately debunked, and the characters are forced to face the limitations of their own lives and the realities of their dreams. Sports can be a significant part of life and teach us important lessons about perseverance and discipline. However, they do not guarantee success, and a sole focus on athletic success can make us miss other significant aspects of
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Troy blames a lot of his problems on the fact that he wasn't given a chance because of racial prejudice. Readers learn that Troy learned this behavior from his father, who contributes to a cycle of generational trauma. Troy's father grew up in the same area and was abusive towards
Troy believes in the firm foundation that one must work hard in order to get somewhere in life. When his second eldest son Cory comes to his father about a potential scholarship offer to play D1 football, Troy immediately turns down the boy and goes on a lecture about how the white man will never give the black man a chance. Troy repeats to his son over and over that if he wants to make a living from himself, he should forget about this dream of football, and find himself a job. Cory does not obey this rule, so Troy takes matters into his own hands and pulls Cory’s recruiting papers and his one chance to possibly make a name for himself with a future in football. In the second act, Troy and Cory continue to resent each other, and Cory attempts to actually confront his father by saying that he is an old man
Troy struggles with self-doubt due to his unfulfilling existence and the difficulties he had while supporting himself and his family. Troy's death is a result of a combination of bad luck, racism in society, and his own past deeds coming back to haunt him. Troy was born into a large, impoverished household with just an abusive yet devoted father to provide for them. When he had to leave his father's home without any means, he ended up in jail because he committed little crimes to get by. Troy picked up the game of baseball while incarcerated and found that he was one of the top home run batters in the Negro Leagues.
He spends his life wishing he made it to major league baseball but consistently states he's held back by both racism and his family. This impacts how he treats his family both negatively and positively as he regrets his life decisions and brings it to his homelife. This play is riveting with family drama, cheating, and lost dreams all portrayed through Troy’s actions to his
Troy views his life now as a lost opportunity, and believes that anyone who simply looks like him will be just as unsuccessful. Which unfortunately ends up being Cory. Furthermore, the author writes about hypothetical scouting for Troy and how “he seems concerned only with swinging the bat” (Letzler). Letzler further elaborates that “This
Troy's desire to support his family, fueled by his experiences of racial inequality, drives him to work hard and fulfill his duty. However, Troy's relationships with his family members become strained due to his internal struggles and flaws. His complicated relationship with his son Cory exemplifies this. Troy projects his own unrealized dreams onto Cory, creating tension between them. In a confrontational moment, Troy advises Cory to focus on education and a trade rather than pursuing football, stating, "The white man ain't gonna let you get nowhere with that football noway.
I want him to move as far away from my life as he can get…” (Wilson 49). Troy's words reveal his lack of support for his son's dreams and ambitions, which stem from his own personal failures and disappointments in life. His toxic masculinity blinds him to the fact that his son, Cory, is not him, and he cannot project his own experiences and limitations onto him. Troy's behavior is harmful because it suppresses Cory's potential and discourages him from pursuing his goals.
However, individuals build psychological fences as well for the same reasons. The lack of commitment that Troy shows in building the fence is coupled with his lack of commitment to his marriage. As Cory, Troy’s son, begins to leave, after being kicked out, for disrespecting and fighting Troy, Cory says to him “Tell Mama I’ll be back for my things,” with Troy responding, “They’ll be in the other side of that fence” (89). Throughout the plot both Troy and Cory displayed a lack of desire to build the fence, always having something more important to do, and this exemplified the emotional divide in their relationship. The fence in this moment is representative of Troy’s own fences, with him keeping his relationships inside.
Troy not only disapproves of his son Cory playing football, but he also disagrees with his oldest son Lyons aspirations of becoming a musician. We see this when Troy states “get recruited in how to fix cars or something where he can make a living”. Instead of focusing on sports, he believes Cory should pick up a trade that can provide an income for his future. Cory is a talented athlete just like his dad, but due to Troy’s dreams being shattered by the white man, his outlook is tainted. Although Troy is predominantly aggressive, he is attempting to protect Cory from the same disappointment he once endured.
Growing up during a time of racial discrimination and facing numerous hardships, Troy carries the weight of these experiences into his adult life. His dream of becoming a professional baseball player is shattered by racial barriers, and this disappointment, along with the discrimination he faced, shapes his worldview. Troy's past experiences of racism and missed opportunities influence his decisions and interactions with loved ones throughout the play. For instance, he discourages his son, Cory, from going after his dreams of playing football, driven by his own bitterness and a desire to protect him from the same disappointments. Furthermore, Troy's past abandonment by his own father influences his perspective on responsibility and fatherhood.
“The man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead” (33). In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller uses foil characters to elucidate Willy’s flaws that ultimately prevent him and his family from succeeding. The contrast between Charley and Willy and Bernard and Biff serves to highlight how Willy’s obsession with achieving his version of the American Dream impacts both his life and his children’s. His poor values are passed on to his children producing even more failures. ¬¬¬¬Both Charley and Willy work as salesmen, however Charley represents what Willy desired to become – successful.
It’s not like he’s wrong, but his tunnel vision with past issues ends up ruining his family’s life. He refuses to let college administrators recruit his son Corey onto college football teams because he thinks that they're just going to use him as a prop, to which his wife responds, “Times have changed from when you was young Troy. People change. The world’s changing around you and you can’t even see it” (Wilson, 40). Troy believes that African Americans can’t make it in sports, citing his past failures to get in Major League Baseball.
Troy's true intentions are to show his son that nothing comes easy. The ultimate flaw however is that Troy looks at the world in his perspective. Troy is trying to prevent Cory from going through the same harsh experiences as him but he is unintentional recreating the same obstacles which are preventing Cory from becoming the full potential of himself. Throughout the play, Troy is imposing his will on Cory and he is basically preventing him from exploring the world for himself. This causes Cory to have conflicts with his dad because they don't agree completely.
Troy displays an even greater desire for dominance over his other son, Cory, because of tension and conflict between the characters. A central conflict in the plot of Fences is that Cory wants to play football professionally but his father will not let him. As Ama Wattley states in Father-Son Conflict and the American Dream, “due to racial discrimination… [Troy] directs his son away from the dream of success and toward the pragmatism of surviving and coping in a racist society” (Wattley 3). Troy’s emotional conflict against himself and society for not participating in major league baseball coupled with Cory’s possible success creates a strain on their
Brother, Gabriel. He shows the father and son complex in the relationship between Troy and Troy’s son, Cory. And finally he shows true friendship in the relationship between Troy and Troy’s best friend, Bono. Wilson masterfully crafts the novel to show many different types of relationships in a short three acts.