The conflict of Troy versus Society

The conflict of Troy versus Society



Different type of conflicts exists in society. The conflict between man and society occurs due to various issues. The conflict might be due to a person being ousted from the community, wrongly accusing of an individual, or a certain environmental problem. In other cases, the conflict might arise because of religious beliefs or racial segregation. Various examples exist to illustrate these kinds of disputes in the real world. Usually, the conflicts generate some negative impacts both on the individual and society. However, in some cases, the conflict might work in favor of one of the parties involved. The essay will narrow down to illustrating how the play “Fences” by August Wilson uses the conflict of Troy versus society to drive the other conflicts and elements of the story.

Troy, the main protagonist in the play, displays a perfect conflict between him and society. The main character is an African-American male who has resulted in deprival of some essential chances of fame as well as a success just because he is not of a white origin. During his time, many cases of racial segregation occurred in society. Various examples exist to illustrate the conflict between Troy and society in the play. In “act one, scene one, where he tries to retell the story in how he tried to convince his boss to allow him to be a garbage truck driver like the white people did, although Troy was denied the chance just because he was black (Wilson, 2016). The company was racist. The blacks were only allowed to collect trash and not driving trucks. Troy does not love the way society treats blacks. He blames it for the position he holds at the job. Troy wishes to get a higher position, although all are in vain. According to him, he has to fight just because he is black while the white people do not put in more fight, and they end up getting better jobs. These societal conflicts affect Troy’s critical thinking (Wilson, 2016).

Additionally, a conflict occurred when Troy never got a chance to be part of the players in sports. During his era, no black was allowed to play games. The entire ordeal of not getting a chance to play traumatizes him. He generates a lousy experience on how he failed to take part as a baseball player (Yaşayan, 2017). His talent was killed by the whites who looked down upon the blacks, and he could do nothing about it. It is quite disgusting and frustrating, indeed. All the whites were allowed to take part in any type of sports they wished, even if they were not talented. Generally, society never allowed blacks to do anything better than whites during his time. That is why he could not secure this chance of becoming a player. Society ended up crashing the dreams of all the blacks, including his. The blacks looked at themselves as people who were incapable after all these mistreatments that arose from the whites. Troy became closed-minded after all these mistreatments. Also, he becomes so much bitter with all the situations that surrounded him (Yaşayan, 2017).

Furthermore, at an early age of 14 years old, Troy did face conflict with society just because the society claimed that he was too young to get a job. The race was the major driving factor that drove society to deny Troy the opportunity to get a job (McCormick, 2017). He had no other way to take care of himself. Before, all these happened, his father was so hard on him such that Troy felt extremely offended. The father could beat him often. Troy looked at it as a sort of mistreatment or misunderstanding from the father, and they got into a fight. It was after the fight that Troy decided to leave his home. Now, when he was away from home, he could not get basic needs because his age could not allow him to work. Troy thought that the only way out of the mess he was encountering was by him starting to steal.  Unfortunately, he got arrested (McCormick, 2017). After that, he was jailed. He looked at it as societal discrimination because it was the society that denied him the opportunity to work, hence increasing the conflict between the two.

The conflict between Troy and society manifests further through the actions portrayed during Troy’s son’s era. When his son, Cory, was growing up, society had changed. People were treated equally, whether whites or blacks; however, Troy’s attitude and critical thinking had already been affected by society during his days (Herren, 2019). A culture shaped him to an eager individual who does not accept change in any way. He feels that he is ignorant. Troy fails to respect the choices made by his family. Take, for example, Cory; his son wanted to play football, although Troy did not let his son do so. Similarly, Lyons is pursuing the musician career, although Troy fails to approve the same. The society made Troy’s mind to automatically believe that his son could end up being like him (Herren, 2019). Society crashed his dreams, and the son has to pay for the same. The society structured Troy’s father to look at him as a working machine and a financial helper. As a result, he ended up mistreating Troy. The same circle of poor parenting now affects Troy. He transmits the same to his son, Cory. Troy’s past affected his son negatively. It is because he never allowed Cory to play at College. In turn, his dreams were crushed as well. It is the society that should be blamed for instilling fear in Troy and making him scared for the future of his son. Surprisingly Troy ended up passing over this mentality to his son that the opportunities for the blacks never existed (Herren, 2019).

Decisively, it is worth to ascertain that the conflict between Troy versus society drove the other disputes within the play. In addition to that, the conflict between the two facilitated other elements to place as well. The readers managed to witness how Troy treated his son just because of the impact caused by the society on him. He denied his son the opportunity of participating in sports while at College. He felt that his son might end up like him. The same occurs when Troy fails to approve Lyons’ musical career. Besides, Troy, together with the other blacks, encountered mistreatment at their workplaces when they got forced to collect trash instead of driving trucks as the whites did. Also, Troy was imprisoned after stealing because society could not allow him to work at the age of 14. Finally, society could not let him take part in sports as the whites did.


Herren, G. (2019). Stage Review of Fences. August Wilson Journal1.

McCormick, S. (2017). August Wilson and the Anti-spectacle of Blackness and Disability in Fences and Two Trains Running. cla Journal61(1-2), 65-83.

Wilson, A. (2016). Fences: a play (Vol. 6). Penguin.

Yaşayan, V. (2017). Dreams Deferred: Exploring the Masculine Mystique in August Wilson’s Fences. Journal of American Studies of Turkey, (46), 117-136.