In Fences, why is Troy so mean to his son, Cory?

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In Fences, Troy is mean to Cory because he doesn't want him to pursue a career as a professional sportsman and suffer the same prejudices and unfair treatment that he received as a young black sportsman.

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Troy's strict approach is due to the fact that he doesn't want his son to repeat his own mistakes and suffer his own disappointments.

When Troy was young, it looked like he was to have a promising career as a baseball player. However, he was never allowed to play in the Major Leagues due to the color of his skin. He is worried that, in a similar way, Cory's prospects on the football field may be limited because he is black.

However, he takes this concern far too far and becomes mean in his attempts to get Cory to follow what he would consider to be a more practical career path. He is an extremely blunt man, and he does not reassure Cory when Cory asks him why he has never liked him. He instructs Cory to go and get back the job that he had previously and refuses to sign the college football recruiter's form.

Cory defies him and does not go to the A&P to get his job back. His father's response is to go to the football coach and ensure that Cory isn't allowed to play at all anymore. While this response is undoubtedly mean, it is simply Cory's response to the upset and disappointment he suffered earlier in life when his baseball career failed to launch.

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Why is Troy so hard on Cory in Fences?

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.

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