Fences Questions and Answers
by August Wilson

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How does Troy's past affect his future in Fences?

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The short answer is that it affects his future in almost every possible sense, from how he approaches his day to day existence to how he treats his family.

Troy is a man who is constantly depressed by his unrealized potential. Having been a talented baseball player in the Negro League, he certainly had the prowess and skill to play at any level of professional baseball. However, had is the keyword there, and though the Major League has finally adopted a more inclusive approach, Troy is far too past his prime to hope to compete any longer.

As a sanitation worker in his fifties, Troy feels that he has not accomplished nearly as much as he should have in life with the work that he's put in or as much as he would have if the playing field were as even in his time as it is in the present day. This makes him overcompensate by clinging to his role as the family breadwinner, lording his position over the rest of his family to the point of verbal and even physical abuse. He reacts with extreme...

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