The main character Troy appears to the readers as an honorable and noble man. However, he has a severe handicap that causes a catastrophic effect on his life and family. It can be said that his fall and destruction are strongly connected with Troy’s immense pride and eternal egocentrism. Troy thinks that his life brings him disappointment and all his indignation over his past mistakes made strengthens him in the thought that it is possible to change fate. At such moments, he thinks about himself and wishes for a better life for his two sons – Corey and Lyons. Despite the fact that he suffers from his fate, Troy can be called a tragic hero for how he subsequently tries for the family.
When Corey gets a football scholarship, Troy forbids him from playing. His decision does not come from envy but from a desire to protect his son from attacks. The protagonist fears Cory will never be able to play football properly due to ongoing discrimination (Wilson 23). However, Troy is stuck in his past and oblivious to the obvious changes taking place in the real world. He cannot be called a bad person, but he does not know how properly express his emotions and love for his son. Despite the fact that some of his actions may seem rude, they express care and attention to the family. Troy takes full responsibility for providing for the family and gets through it.
Moreover, Troy is a protagonist with inherent qualities and flaws. He is always at the center of the plot, at the center of the narrative, at the center of intrigue and at the main conflict of the work. One such conflict arises when he cheats on his wife with Alberta. Troy tries to explain his betrayal to Rose with constant stress and a desire to throw it out (Wilson 55). However, when Rose finds out about the pregnancy of her mistress, she realizes that all the efforts invested in their family relationship are in vain. Alberta dies and Troy feels responsible for their child, so he asks Rose to take care of the newborn, which only worsens their relationship. Despite this request, Troy is guided by good intentions and caring for the child.
Rose finds the strength to fulfill the request and their connection with the child becomes quite strong. At the same time, the portrait of Troy as a protagonist and the symbol of the fence acquire their power at these moments. Troy tells his wife that she “stay on the other side of the fence until you are ready for me” (Wilson 63). Thus, he erects this symbolic fence in order to feel psychologically protected from problems.
At the same time, it can be seen that Alberta’s death impacted him. Troy lost his sense of life and was not afraid of anything; however, in these scenes, he is afraid of death. Thus, the tragedy manifests in the fact that the main character builds a fence to hide fear and fear of bringing disappointment to his family. This is a symbol of the separation and alienation of the protagonist from his family.
Thus, Troy wishes happiness and peace for his family and children. The tragedy lies in the fact that his high and noble qualities are aggravated by situations and attitudes toward his past. Troy does not see how rapidly the world around him is changing. He is selfish, but despite the fence that separates him from his family, he feels the responsibility he bears for his children and wife. He is deeply unhappy and frustrated, which leads him to a series of unjustified actions of which he is ashamed. At the same time, he is the protagonist, as most of the plot is strictly connected to his emotions.
Wilson, August. Fences. Penguin Books, 1991.