How would you characterize the father/son relationships in the play Fences?

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Troy Maxson's relationships with both of his sons can be characterized with complexity and antagonism. Troy Maxson is portrayed as a bitter man who resents the fact that he was not given the opportunity to play major league baseball in his prime because he was black. Troy resents white America...

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Troy Maxson's relationships with both of his sons can be characterized with complexity and antagonism. Troy Maxson is portrayed as a bitter man who resents the fact that he was not given the opportunity to play major league baseball in his prime because he was black. Troy resents white America for his lack of success and does not want his youngest son, Cory, to experience the same challenges.

Troy prohibits Cory from accepting a football scholarship and demands that he continue working at the local A&P supermarket. Cory believes that his father is preventing him from succeeding in sports out of spite and resents him. Although Cory admits that he only wanted to be like his father growing up, he struggles to forgive Troy for ruining his chances of playing football in college.

Troy's relationship with Lyons is also hostile and complex. Troy does not approve of Lyons's lifestyle and criticizes him for continually asking to borrow money. Troy is dismissive of Lyons and will not even watch his band play.

Despite Troy's negative, hostile attitude towards Cory and Lyons, Troy genuinely aims to make them better men than he was. Troy provides for Cory and takes care of Lyons, which is similar to how Troy's father raised him. Troy also believes that he is doing Cory a favor by forcing him to focus on work rather than invest his energy and time into sports, where black men have a difficult time succeeding.

Troy also hopes to instill responsibility in Lyons, who seems like a shiftless wanderer. Tragically, Troy is unable to accept that the world is rapidly changing and cannot see that Cory's athletic scholarship will benefit him. By refusing to listen to Lyons's band, Troy also loses out on an opportunity to connect with his son and improve their relationship. Despite his failures, Troy's sons attend his funeral as a gesture of their forgiveness.

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While it is clear that Troy Maxson loves his sons, Cory and Lyons, his relationship with both of his sons is characterized by bitterness and misunderstanding. Lyons, his son from his first marriage, wants to be a musician and is far less realistic and practical than his father, who offers Lyons help to get a job on a garbage truck. Lyons feels that he does not want to be carrying other people's garbage or punching a clock, while his father will do what he needs to do to support his family. Lyons is bitter towards his father because Troy was not around when he was growing up, and he accepts Troy's money but declines his advice.

Troy's relationship with his other son, Cory, is also characterized by misunderstanding. Cory hopes to play college football, but Troy feels that white teams will never accept an African-American player, as he was not allowed to play white baseball when he was growing up. Cory wants to be part of a new generation that is beginning to integrate, but Troy does not want him to play football because he thinks it will be setting up Cory for failure and rejection. Troy winds up throwing Cory out of his house. As Troy has suffered from the effects of racism growing up, he wants his sons to play it safe. He loves them, but his way of showing love is to be hard on them. As a result, he is distanced from them and does not understand their dreams.

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The relationship between Troy and Cory Maxson is bitter and tense. Troy's hostile attitude stems from his past. He blames racism for keeping him from attaining his dream of playing major league baseball, and he can't let go of this resentment. The pain Troy feels from his past doesn't allow him to let his family get close because he has built a fence of anger and misery around himself. This fence protects Troy from being hurt any further, but it also robs him of his family's love. When Cory has the chance to get a college football scholarship, Troy denies his son the opportunity to achieve what he couldn't. Cory cannot forgive his father for it. Troy is both jealous and protective of Cory. He's afraid Cory will achieve what was denied to him, but he also wants to spare Cory from the racism that Troy faced. Cory finally leaves home when he and his father end up in a physical fight. Cory knows he can never please his father, and his feelings for Troy have turned to hatred.

Troy has another son, Lyons, by a former marriage, but he treats Lyons the same as he does Cory. He is indifferent and uncaring to Lyons as well. Lyons turns out to be much like Troy, ending up in jail just like his father.

In the end, Cory shows up for Troy's funeral, but Cory is still not sure how he feels about his father. The fence Troy built around himself will affect Cory forever, but we can hope Cory is a better father to his child

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