Each character in the play is of interest, as personal changes take place within them as the story progresses. One of the characters undergoing the most profound changes is Rose and Troy. However, in “Fences” by August Wilson, Cory is a character that is interesting and powerful to analyze. Its rich inner transformation shows the reader the division and transition between generations of parents and children that every person goes through. Thus, the changes in Troy’s son and Rose in the play reflect the universal elements characteristic of growing up, while the changes in his parents are more adult and personal. Cory is forced to fight the prejudices that his father’s generation grew up with and overcome the difficulties in shaping his own personality. In doing so, when he defeats this, Cory breaks the restrictions that bind him and breaks the fences between him and the rest of the world.
Cory in “Fences” by August Wilson
At the beginning of “Fences”, the play by August Wilson, Cory’s view of the world is optimistic and full of hope for the future. In his opinion, he has many opportunities that his father did not have. In modern realities, he can choose the life path that wanted to own Troy because of the racism that prevailed in the society of the past. As a character, Cory is stubborn in his desperate desire to achieve independence and play college football. Cory’s struggles and the changes he goes through are linked to the formation of his unique personality, which would be different from his father (Wilson 79). However, Troy denies his son’s teenage attempts to highlight his individuality.
Throughout the story that unfolds in “Fences” by August Wilson, Troy wants to see in his son a person who is internally similar to himself. This is confirmed by the words of Cory, who is constantly trying to change himself: “The whole time I was growing up…living in his house…Papa was like a shadow that followed you everywhere” (Wilson 81). However, Cory’s desire to change and make his own decisions is stronger.
Excessive care of the father forces the son to take drastic measures in order to feel the freedom of choice and become a full-fledged person. He uses psychological and physical violence on his father, which changes their relationship (Wilson 44). At the same time, the character himself begins to change; from an optimistic young man, he turns into a person who thinks that aggression is the catalyst for major changes. On the one hand, Cory is right because, with the help of aggression, one can change circumstances and people’s opinions. However, he is not aware of the consequences of changing the participants in the conflict, and this shapes his personality.
Throughout the play, the character undergoes changes, as he cannot understand how the conflict of generations determines the opinion of father and son regarding life opportunities. For Cory, the struggle of his father for a place in society as a representative of another race is invisible and incomprehensible. Cory’s changes are no longer affected by the oppression and racism that Troy was shaped by. Cory is confident that the family will fully accept him and support personal diversity. In a long struggle for change, Cory even refuses to go to the funeral, seeing it as the last opportunity to refuse his father.
Troy’s constant desire to protect his son led to the fact that from a good-natured young man, Cory became a person angry at his family and the world. Cory cannot understand and accept the changes that have swept society. This prevents him from developing in the direction that could lead him to a positive relationship. Every conversation between father and son ends with an inevitable conflict and a long quarrel. However, it is important to note that it is family disagreements that eventually help Cory to form his own personality.
Cory’s mother, Rose, wants to see the changes in her son and give him freedom. After Troy’s death, she invites her son to the funeral and offers him the opportunity to change when Corey refuses (Wilson 84). Corey has the ability to substitute his attitude towards his father’s prejudices and fences and transform his character into his own personality. Thus, at the end of August Wilson’s work, Corey unites all his experiences. He examines all his conflicts with his father, sorrows, disappointments, desires and missed opportunities in order to assure himself that his life can be different from his father’s.
The character of “Fences” by August Wilson Cory is going through a complex and profound personality change, which leads him to freedom. The fences built between him and his craving for freedom and playing football morally squeeze the man. His character is changed by the barriers between him, his father, and society. At the beginning of the play, a dreamy guy appears before the readers, full of enthusiasm and striving for a dream. By the end of the story, you can see that Corey suffers the same disappointment as his father, Troy. However, Cory has a chance to turn his life around to achieve his dream and receive redemption.
Wilson, August. Fences. Penguin Books, 1991.