Study Guide

Fences Dissatisfaction

By August Wilson


Dissatisfaction causes lots of trouble in Fences. The play's protagonist, Troy Maxson, is dissatisfied with his life. He's unhappy that his pro baseball dreams were stopped by racial discrimination. He feels trapped and unfulfilled in his job as a garbage collector. His son constantly disappoints him by not seeing the value of work. And even though he loves his wife, Troy finds a new love in another woman's arms. Fences explores how dissatisfaction can lead to behavior that destroys a person's life and the lives of those around them.

Questions About Dissatisfaction

  1. What are Troy's major dissatisfactions in life?
  2. Are the other characters as dissatisfied as Troy? If so, what are they upset about? If not, why are they more satisfied than Troy?
  3. How does Troy's dissatisfaction affect the action of the play?

Chew on This

Even if Troy had gotten everything he wanted in life, he would still be dissatisfied, because dissatisfaction is just part of his nature.

Though it will be a struggle, Cory won't let the dissatisfaction of his father poison his own life.