In Act III of scene i of Fences, explain what Troy wants Cory to do?

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

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The third scene is pivotal in exploring the relationship between father and son.  Cory is driven to play football.  As a result, he has not been able to fulfill his duties with chores around the house and has quit his part time job at the local supermarket.  As the traditional father, Troy demands complete obedience, demanding that Cory sacrifice and quit football.  It is at this point that a line has been drawn and there is a full view of how the father and son dynamic is presented.  It also reflects how Troy is an insecure figure.  The demand of complete obedience and his authoritative stance reflects a sense of uncertainty in his own life, a fear of his own being in the world.  It is this fear that precludes him from connecting in a meaningful way with others, a fear that constructs "fences" between himself and others.  It is this fear that prevents him from admitting Rose right in that Cory's dream of playing football is akin to his own dream of playing baseball.  The heartache he experienced is being transferred to his son.  The rationale for demanding complete obedience from his son and for Cory to stop pursuing his dream is connected to Troy's own background.  The demand levied by father on son is important because it shows the fragile state of being in which Troy operates, confirming the idea that he "simply moves through life" as opposed to living it.

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