How is Troy a user and manipulator of others in Fences?Does this make him a liar, self deceptive, or something else?

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e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Troy is not a completely honest person, but he falls short of being a user or manipulator of others. Though he is controlling of his son Cory and somewhat under-handed in dealing with his promotion to driver at work, Troy does not maneuver people or subtly influence their actions. 

He is not completely honest, but he is, for the most part, direct. 

Troy's dishonesty can be seen in his continued insistence on the idea that he was wronged in his baseball career. 

Troy felt he was excluded because, at the time, black players were still not accepted, but the story is more complex than Troy wants to believe. The fifteen years that Troy spent in prison made him too old for the major leagues.

This evasive and indignant part of his character is also on display when Troy agitates for a promotion at work, complaining that only white employees were allowed to become drivers. When Troy is promoted and becomes a driver, we learn that he does not have a driver's license.  

Further evidence of Troy's lack of flaws can be seen in his affair with Alberta. Troy cheats on his wife, which is not a virtuous thing to do, however, Troy is confesses and speaks directly about the affair with Rose. The flaws in his character are clear. Troy is not as strong as he needs to be and so he runs; he evades certain truths.

His affair with Alberta represents his attempt to escape the responsibility he feels for wife, son, and home.

Being evasive and somewhat weak does not equate to being manipulative in Troy's case. He is controlling of Cory's life, not allowing him to play football, but in this too Troy is direct and open, not manipulative.

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Fences

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