Why doesn't Troy Maxson not deserve our sympathy?

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Troy Maxson has made many choices in his life that have hurt his family members. He has not accepted the decisions and dreams of his sons, Lyons and Corey. Corey wants to play football, but Troy is opposed to this idea, because he feels racism will interfere with Corey's plans....

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Troy Maxson has made many choices in his life that have hurt his family members. He has not accepted the decisions and dreams of his sons, Lyons and Corey. Corey wants to play football, but Troy is opposed to this idea, because he feels racism will interfere with Corey's plans. Troy informs Corey's coach that his son can no longer play football, worsening the rift between Troy and Corey and causing Corey to leave home. Troy is also opposed to the choices of his other son, Lyons, who dreams of being a jazz musician. In addition, Troy lives partly off the disability payments of his brother, Gabriel, who was hurt in World War II. Later, Troy decides to have Gabriel committed to a hospital. Perhaps most hurtful of all, Troy has an extramarital affair with Alberta, and their union produces a daughter whom Troy's wife Rose decides to adopt.

Troy makes decisions that harm his family, and he does not treat them with love and respect. Nonetheless, they go to his funeral and forgive him at the end of the play.

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I certainly think that a case could be made for Troy not being the recipient of the reader's sympathy.  Troy is a character that inflicts a great deal of pain on the people around him.  His wife, Alberta, Cory, his friendships all consist of the the thread of his pain that he inflicts upon them.  Part of this might be the self- hate and intense level of pain that exists within his own sensibilities.  In this, I find it difficult to hold a great deal of sympathy for him because he does not take the paths that are offered to him in overcoming his own sense of hurt.  Jim Bono suggests the need to avoid the conditions that plagued their own fathers, the "walking blues," and his advice is not respected.  Rose is devoted to her husband, standing by him when so many others would not.  She seeks to provide an emotional refuge for him, but it is one that he does not activate.  In the end, Troy has options available to him in easing his hurt, or finding a way to overcome the intense level of pain that envelops him, but he fails to take these paths.  While his predicament is a brutal one, it is difficult to hold sympathy for someone who has not taken advantage of the emotional opportunities afforded to him.

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