Is Troy a bad father in Fences?

It can certainly be argued that Troy is a bad father. Troy loves his son, but he is, at the very least, an imperfect father.

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Troy is certainly an imperfect father. As a child, he was saddled with an abusive father, so he does not have an ideal model of what a father should be when dealing with his own children. Troy is a good provider for his family; however, he is also domineering. He does not like having his decisions opposed by his own son, who he believes should be subordinate to his will. Troy also has a tendency to lash out at Cory, straining their relationship even more.

His opposition to Cory's dreams largely comes from a place of concern rather than sheer tyranny. Troy's own athletic ambitions were thwarted by racial prejudice. He does not want the same fate to befall his son. Troy hopes his forceful dissuasion will save Cory from heartbreak and disappointment. However, Cory refuses to be strong-armed, and Troy's behavior fractures their father-son relationship.

Troy's biggest problem as a father (and as a husband) is that he is unable to be vulnerable or tender. He fulfills all his responsibilities, making sure everyone is provided for, but he is so harsh and controlling that he only serves to push his son away.

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