Compare and contrast Troy Maxson from "The Fences" and Roy Hobbs from "The Natural". I need to write an essay on this. I have come up w/ the following so far. They are both natural at playing baseball. They both start out late. They both fall for more than one woman. Both get shot as they were trying to launch their careers. They do not learn from their mistakes. They are both raised in dysfunctional families.   Troy is illiterate and Roy is not. Troy faces discrimination due to his color and Roy does not. Alberta is not necessarily a wicked woman like memo. Roy finds somewhat of mentor characters like Sam and Pop where as Troy doesn’t. Troy steals for a living before he gets caught. No evidence of Roy ever doing that in the natural. Troy gets shot while stealing Roy gets shot during what was supposed to be a romantic night with Harriet.   However, I am not quite comfortable with what I have. I can't help but feel that the characters are not all that related. So, I need some help to convince me.   

Expert Answers

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You have a very good start on your essay, but you haven't said how many paragraphs your essay is. You probably have more examples than you need. Decide which you feel are the most important and explain them with examples from each book, supporting the similarities or the differences of each character. Don't just name them in your body paragraphs, but describe them in detail. For example, you've listed that both men fall for more than one woman, but consider what this says about Roy and Troy. Each man has one woman is his life whom he betrays; for Troy, it is Rose, and for Roy, it is Iris. Their betrayal of a good woman is a commonality, but why aren't they faithful? 

Look also at the themes of the books and how they are alike and different. Troy faces his duties and responsibilities while Roy ignores his to Iris. Roy is overwhelmed by his duty to his family, however. Good and evil is a theme that can be applied to both books. In Troy's case, the evil is racism; in Roy's case, it is greed and corruption. What effect do these evils have on their lives? The racism limits Troy's opportunities while Roy is given the chance to become a baseball hero. In their search for a better existence, what obstacles stand in the way of Roy and Troy, and how do they deal with these obstacles?  Each of them has a friend who is important in their lives.

Good luck on your essay. Please ask for more help if you need it.

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