Why is Troy so hard on Cory in Fences?

Troy is so hard on Cory in Fences because he did not have an affectionate relationship with his own father and because his dreams of playing sports professionally were prevented by racist policies. He does not think he owes Cory anything more than food and shelter and thinks that Cory’s pursuit of football will go nowhere.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In August Wilson's play Fences, Troy is so hard on his son Cory for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that he struggles to show affection for his children because of his own abusive upbringing. Troy was the son of an unaffectionate, abusive father and he...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

In August Wilson's play Fences, Troy is so hard on his son Cory for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that he struggles to show affection for his children because of his own abusive upbringing. Troy was the son of an unaffectionate, abusive father and he left home at the age of fourteen. As a result of this experience, Troy thinks that his role as a father is to provide his children with food and shelter. He does not think it is necessary to go any further and show love and kindness to his sons. Recall the heated conversation in which he asks Cory,

Who the hell say I got to like you? What law is there say I got to like you?

Another reason Troy is so hard on Cory is that his own dreams were crushed when he was young and his life after that has been a struggle. Troy was great at playing baseball and dreamed of being a professional baseball player. If he had been allowed to do this, his life would have gone down a completely different track. However, Black people were not allowed to play in the major leagues when he was young. Because of this, Troy views Cory’s chance to pursue college football as a lost cause and he gets mad that Cory won’t settle in a safe job. He cannot understand that times have changed and that Cory could actually make it.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on