In Fences: Why does Cory think his father dislikes him?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cory perceives his father's dislike in large part because of a generational gap that exists between them.  Troy's dream of playing baseball was taken from him, something he attributes to racial discord.  With this in mind, he believes that dreams are only meant to be dashed through an uncaring society.  This rubs off on Cory as he wants to play football.  Not recognizing that society has changed and that the sins against the father might not always be revisited to the son, Troy criticizes his son's choices.  Rather than communicate openly with his son about his own experience, Troy attempts to use autocratic rule to compel his son to give up his dream.  Due to this emotional "fence," Cory is convinced his father has little care for him.  Add this to the relationship his father has outside of marriage and the fact that Troy does not possess the vocabulary and emotional framework to openly talk to his son because of his own violent history with his own father, the relationship between both has little other option but for the son to believe his father dislikes him.