Fyodor Dostoyevsky once said “If the devil does not exist, and man has therefore created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.” This quote relates to Troy, the main character of Fences, due to him referring to multiple people as “the devil.” Through the play Troy describes the devil’s appearance multiple times, so what does he look like? Troy also says that the devil is selling him something, what is it? Lastly, Troy refers to his father as the devil, why? Troy’s description of Death and his story about The devil connect to Troy’s pride and anger about being a black man in America.
First and foremost, in Troy’s opinion, the devil is a white man, holding a sickle and wearing a white hooded robe (resembling the KKK). In Act One of Fences, Troy tells his friend Bono that in the summer of 1941, when he was sick with pneumonia, Mr. Death (the devil) had touched him on the shoulder with his sickle. Troy states that he told Death they would settle their dispute and at that moment he wasn’t cold and had the strength to grab Death’s sickle and throw it away. Every time troy felt defeated he would find the strength to fight back and weaken Mr. Death. Finally, after three days’ worth of struggle, Mr. Death grabbed his white robe, put it on, and told Troy he would be back; then he went off to find his sickle. Troy not only describe Mr. Death as the devil, but also another white man.
Troy’s second devil is a white man selling furniture with credit. Troy says that when he opened the door, the devil was standing there bigger than life; he was white with good clothes on and a clipboard in his hands. The man sold Troy three rooms’ worth of furniture and told troy that he would have to pay ten dollars a month to pay off the furniture, or he would be back. Troy never missed a payment and continued paying ten dollars a month for the next 18 years. He never stopped paying because he was scared; he feared that if he stopped making payments the devil would come back for him. Troy didn’t only call white people the devil, he also referred to his own father as “the devil himself”.