Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman and August Wilson’s play Fences portrays the image of both protagonists transfering over the burden of their mistakes to their sons. The pattern of being away from home can become the cause of betrayal, secrets and a loss of responsibility and resentment from others. Troy Maxon from Fences and Willy Loman from Death of a Salesman have both shown the absence in their familes lives can create bad decisions, such as having an affair. Willy and Troyś behavior towards their sons have been set in place from their previous father figures resulting in the two men to have extramarital affairs The execution of Willy and Troys dishonesty and aggression has impacted an abundance of obstacles in their sons lives.
The protagonist Troy Maxon from Fences has made unthoughtful choices, leaving him with a reputation that has taken respect and trust from others. Where Troy stands as an adult comes from his father’s influence which created a poisonous relationship with his own sons. “If you wanted to change me, you should ́ve been there when I was growing up.̈ (Wilson.) This quote shows how Troyś absence from Lyons childhood affected the way Lyons turned out as an adult and influenced Lyons to commit crime just as Troy did during Lyons childhood. Everytime Troy leaves his home his own responsibility weakens, a roof for his family is ruptured.
Willys use of dishonesty and aggression with words have impacted on his sons mental health by causing them to spiral downward. Willy’s self-deception from his abandonment by his father at a young age eventually drives Biff; his son; to lash out at his father. ¨You’re practically full of it! We all are! And I’m through with it. [To Willy]: Now hear this Willy, this is me.¨ (Miller) This quote portrays a cause of Biff’s hatred towards Willys own actions of fear of abandonment has turned him into a flawed and desperate person making his two sons resent him. Willys emotional health has taken a toll on his honesty leading him be absent in his family life giving him room to have an affair. Willys dishonesty and secret fear has backfired on him; leading himself to abandon his family through suicide and Biff to walk out on him.
The fathers from Fences and Death of a Salesman both show similarities between one another from the way they execute obstruction in their sons lives. Willy and Troy cause those around them to suffer the consequences of their damaging choices through the loss of opportunities and the disappointment of unfulfilled american dreams. Their absence from their life at home have impacted themselves to indulge in adultery and to not have a respectable position in society. Willy and Troy hurt their sons mentally with dishonesty and physically with aggression leading their sons to abandon them.
- Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem 1976. Penguin Books, 1976.
- Wilson, August. Fences: a Play. Plume, an Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2016.