Fences Questions and Answers
by August Wilson

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Did Troy realize his American dream in Fences?

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In August Wilson's celebrated play Fences, Troy Maxson is depicted as a resentful, bitter man who lacks perspective and has a cynical outlook on life. In his youth, Troy was an excellent baseball player who excelled in the Negro league but was never afforded an opportunity to play in the Majors because of racial discrimination. During Troy's prime, he was sent to prison for fifteen years, which aged him out of the Majors. After Troy was released from prison, his dreams of becoming a professional baseball player were over, and he settled down to start a family with Rose.

Troy Maxson's idea of the American dream was to enter the Majors and make a living as a successful baseball player, which never happened. Even though Troy is a fifty-three-year-old garbage man, he has never gotten over his lost opportunity to attain his American dream. Troy's bitterness and resentment toward America's prejudiced society motivate him to prevent Cory from accepting a football scholarship. He fails to acknowledge that society is transforming and a college scholarship would significantly improve Cory's chances in life. Tragically, Troy's inability to attain his American dream prevents him from allowing Cory to achieve his dreams, which causes a rift in their relationship. Overall, Troy Maxson never realized his American dream, which dramatically influences how he views the world and raises Cory.

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