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The Importance Of The Father In August Wilson's Fences

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"When the sins of our fathers visit us, we do not have to play host. We can banish them with forgiveness; As God, in His Largeness and Laws"(Wilson X).This epigraph by August Wilson provides an insight into the importance of the topic in the play Fences. In Fences, the play depicts the relationships of the Maxson family and their friends. Troy Maxson, a middle-aged African American man, is happily married to his wife Rose and takes care of his son Cory whilst occasionally interacting with his other son from a previous relationship. However, the complexities of Troy 's past create issues for him and his family and their relationships begin to deteriorate. Throughout the play, the characters look at faith, race, opportunities, fatherhood and…show more content…
Troy 's hatred of his father acts as a catalyst for many moments in Troy 's life, in negative and positive ways alike. Unlike most fathers, Troy 's father didn 't leave him with a material possession such as a house but instead left him with emotional baggage that crippled the earlier and later parts of Troy 's life. From the beginning, Troy 's father was abusive to his mother and all of his siblings. Troy and his family worked hard on their father 's farm and endured his bitterness towards being a sharecropper. Troy states that his father was greedy and would put his own personal needs above the needs of the family. This, in turn, caused Troy 's mother to abandon him, leaving him without love from a parent or anyone to show him the correct way to treat females, a sin that affects his relationship with Rose as an adult. His father 's treatment of Troy made Troy believe there was more to his suffering than what was humanly possible "The gal jumped and run off...and when my daddy turned to face me, I could see why the devil had never come to get him...cause he was the devil himself"(Wilson 52).This metaphor used by Troy, adds a certain weight to the gravity of his situation as a teen. His father wasn 't just cruel but was the devil, a symbol of pure hate and all evil. The way Troy 's father treated him would cause Troy to run away at a young age and would be forced to steal and rob. This caused…show more content…
In the epigraph, August Wilson states that we do not always have to act out the sins of our fathers and that it 's possible to banish them with forgiveness. While Troy may not have forgiven his father, after he marries Rose, he doesn 't act on the sins of his father. Troy 's father didn 't teach Troy any positive traits directly, instead Troy adopted them in order to differentiate himself from his father and to live a better life. Troy learned the value of hard work from his father and all the time he spent working on the farm when he was younger and he lives by that trait. He takes care of his family because he knows it 's the responsible thing to do no matter what. Troy 's father didn 't care about the children or his wife, so Troy does his best to care for Cory and Rose. However, like his father, Troy takes care of the family because he 's obligated to, not because he feels any particular affection to them, similar to the way his father didn 't abandon him because he had nowhere to go. He explains this to Cory saying " You live in my house...sleep you behind on my bedclothes...fill you belly up with my food...cause you my son. You my flesh and blood. Not 'cause I like you! Cause it 's my duty to take care of you. I owe a responsibility to you"(Wilson 38)! While this quote shows that Troy is taking steps to be a better father, he 's not without his flaws. Troy cheated on Rose and had another child out of infidelity, ruining their family and affecting Rose
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