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The Importance Of Characters In August Wilson's Fences

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Throughout literature, hesitant figures and people at odds with their own desires shown up often and have roused the curiosity of readers for centuries. In the play Fences by August Wilson, we are shown a character whose existence asks the question: can a person act like a vicious vandal but still do what he thinks is best for his family? Troy Maxson, the main character in Fences, is a man with an empty marriage, and a controlling and cruel relationship with his son but is still a decent man underneath it all.
From the beginning, Troy and Rose didn’t have the typical happy marriage. With the play taking place in the 1950’s, Rose was your classic housewife, as she cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, was always at home, etc. Rose was the kind of woman who tried to keep Troy on track, as she points out when he’s going above and beyond in his story telling, she has told him to stop complaining, and tries to help Troy feel
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He does do what he thinks is right, however, since he thinks his family is a burden, despite loving them on some level, he thinks he is owed something from them that he never seems to get. In Troy’s mind, he has sacrificed everything for his family and they can never truly pay him back for that. He says of his family at one point, “You all line up at the door with your hands out. I give you the lint in my pockets, I give you my sweat and my blood. I ain’t got no tears, I done spent them.” (Wilson 40) Troy is neither hero nor villain, though in his mind, he most likely considers himself more of a hero just as his wife and son probably consider him more of a villain. Neither of these terms really work for Troy as he does have good intentions and he does manage to care for his family in the terms that he thinks are important, he just doesn’t care about doing a single thing more than
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