Fences

by: August Wilson

Act Two: Scene Four

Summary Act Two: Scene Four

The falling action of Fences reaches a pitch when Troy challenges his son Cory by demanding fatherly respect from a son who no longer respects his father. The physical blockade Troy forces on Cory is an immature maneuver, typical of a child who did not get their way. Troy's immature behavior heightens the degree of foolishness he exhibits and emphasizes Cory's entry into manhood. When Cory stands up to Troy by scolding him like a child with the disgust of his opinions on Troy's failings, Cory, like Troy before him, becomes a man by challenging his father. Cory and Troy engage in physical violence just as Troy did with his own father when he came of age. And Cory, just like Troy must now leave the home he shares with his father to lead his own, independent life.

It is ironic, yet understandable that Cory and Troy fail to see eye-to-eye. It is ironic because both of them leave home under similar circumstances: they share disgust for their respective fathers and the experience of a father who selfishly took away something from each of them that they treasured. Cory lost his college football opportunities, trust in his father and home, Troy lost his girlfriend in a traumatic beating and rape by his father, his trust in his father and his home. Yet, tragically, what they share also pulls them apart and Troy and Cory are conflicted and enraged at each other. Troy finds himself unable to cope with the truth in a life or death situation. Therefore, Cory, a vigilant speaker of the truth, must disappear from Troy's world in order for Troy to maintain the illusion he now clings to in order to salvage what little is left of his once fearless life.