Describe the relationship between Cory and Troy in Fences.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The question is correct in identifying the parental relationship as one where there is generational conflict converging with personal difficulty in articulating emotions.  This is the setting in which there is challenge in the relationship between Cory and Troy.  In the end, this is what causes the rift between them.  Troy has seen life at its very worst, experienced what it means to endure the ruptured bonds of both dreams and relationships, and understands the downside offered in a social setting that marginalizes on both race and class conditions.  In contrast, Cory is part of a younger generation that believes in its own promises and possibilities.  He interprets his father's fears and poor articulations of emotions as being stifling and realities imposed on the father from the son in the attempt to cut off the latter's chance at happiness.  There is a generational issue present, but it is also hampered by the presence of social conditions that take away at one's heart and soul, at one's state of being in the world.  The father seeks to protect his son from such a reality, something that the son sees as oppressive and repressive, a reaction that the father sees as ingratitude.

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