Study Guide

Fences Betrayal

By August Wilson


Fences explores many different types of betrayal. Troy Maxson manages to betray just about everyone in his life: his son, his wife, his brother, and his best friend. Pretty much every character in the play is betrayed by Troy in some way. Of course, the play does go deeper than that. Though many of the characters are hurt by Troy's actions, the final scene shows that they also have respect for him. Perhaps they see that, in some ways, Troy never betrayed them in his heart. Troy never apologizes for anything he does in the play. It could be that this is why the other characters respect him by the end. Though they were all disappointed by the things he did, Troy always did what he thought was right. You could say then that Troy never once betrayed himself.

Questions About Betrayal

  1. How does Troy justify cheating on Rose?
  2. Is it a betrayal when Troy signs Gabriel into the mental hospital? Why or why not?
  3. In what ways does Troy betray Cory?
  4. Do you think Bono feels betrayed by Troy? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Troy betrays everyone in the play but himself.

In his own mind, Troy never betrays any of the other characters.