Analysis of Troy Maxson

Categories: Fences

The play “Fences” by Lloyd Richards is primarily the story of Troy Maxson. A guy of many words, some of which although may not be especially great. He is a senior, large black guy who used to be a house run hitter in the Negro league, but by the time of the combination of professional Baseball, Troy was too old to benefit from it. This caused Troy to become the male he is today. Throughout the play the reader sees in depth of what sort of male Troy Maxson truly is.

Yes, he is far from an ideal guy, however he has a self-confidence that can inspire, which makes him, above all, remarkable.

As a result of having his dreams eventually shattered Troy is susceptible. Not simply vulnerable to others, but by believing in the self-created illusions he has actually created to cope with his extreme fall from living his dream to working at a dead end job. While being so vulnerable to his own produced world Troy is more than comfortable with living in his fictitious dream.

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This is seen when Troy tries to convince his friend Bono that is relationship with a females called Alberta was nothing consensual, when in reality it is obvious he was having an affair with the lady (page 1703). Throughout the entire play the readers get a concept of where the Title “Fences” come from. Troy Maxson’s character causes disputes with everybody else, and in doing so putting metaphorical “fences” around him and the ones that appreciate him.

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With these fences up all around him he rejects and puts down the dreams and desires of others since they differ from his own philosophy. There are many examples of this throughout the play, however the one that appears to stand apart the most would be when he tries to entirely take down his boy’s dream of playing expert football (page 1716-1717).

Troy Maxson’s charter although represents more than just a man who is bitter from past experiences; he represents human nature’s unwillingness to adjust to social change. Just like how the white men viewed black people, even after segregation was in full swing, they still viewed them as inferior beings. The same concept can be seen in Troy. Troy constantly uses baseball to describe his actions as if baseball was still a major role in his day to day life. When he talks about facing death, he uses baseball terminology, comparing a face-off with the grim reaper to a duel between a pitcher and a batter (1706). When he bullies his son Cory, he warns him: “You swung the bat and didn’t hit it. That’s strike one.” (1726). So with this Troy becomes the perfect example for a tragic hero. Doing what he sees fit through his own eyes even though the people around him tell him that his actions will have drastic side effects, but he still stubbornly strides on pursuing his own course of action.

As terrible as it may seem the experiences Troy went through were not uncommon. In fact drones of skilled African American players could not experience playing on the professional level. Sadly they were bound to the Negro leagues due to the color of their skin, thus for having their stats lost to legend. And according to Frank Deford only after about fifty years of the Negro leagues existence are the skills and talent of these Negro League players beginning honored by modern day baseball (Deford).


  1. Deford, Frank. “Negro League Baseball.” Smithsonian 41.7 (2013): 73-76. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
  2. Richards, Lloyd. “Fences.” Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Robert Sweig. 10th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2012, 945-946. Print

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Analysis of Troy Maxson. (2016, Apr 01). Retrieved from

Analysis of Troy Maxson

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