Who is Troy's father in Fences?

Quick answer:

Troy's father was a Southern sharecropper whom Troy calls "the devil himself." Troy left home at age fourteen after years of abuse and neglect at his father's hands.

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In August Wilson's Fences, Troy sings his "daddy's song" about the old dog Blue, but he doesn't have many good memories of his father, who was a sharecropper in the South. Troy often wishes that he had never known his father. He never cared about his children, Troy explains, only about getting the cotton to the landowner. Troy recalls that his father always ate first and left very little for the kids.

Troy reflects more on his father. He was trapped, Troy says. He had eleven kids, and all he knew how to do was farm. Troy thinks that his father did feel some kind of a responsibility toward his family, or otherwise he might simply have walked away. Yet Troy also says that his father was evil. His mother "couldn't stand" her husband, and she left the family when Troy was eight. Troy never saw her again, even though she promised she would come back for him.

One day when Troy was fourteen, Troy's father caught him playing around with a girl, and he whipped Troy. Troy at first thought that his father was whipping him because he wasn't doing his work, but then, he realized that his father wanted the girl for himself. He turned on his father, but his father beat him. Troy comments that his father "was the devil himself." When Troy woke up, he cried first, then left, walking down to Mobile, two hundred miles away.

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