Generally, the play highlights that rebellion of the blacks against the White domination resulted to their own suffering and frustration majorly because of lack of opportunities and high economic insecurity; the power relations that emerged in the Post War era pitted the Whites against the Blacks in a disproportionate social order (Koprince 349). The older generation represented by the likes of Troy have internalized oppression as a fact of life since they have been socialized in a highly stratified social order that deprived them upwards social mobility while the young generation represented by Cory, Troy’s son sees life in a totally new perspective.
The implication of this is that the parent/child relationship in the play is thoroughly constrained by the generational gap between parents and their children respectively; the social conflict perspective highlights that power differentials such as class, gender, as well as race conflict, which result to social inequalities, further propagate conflicts thereby generating social change. However, in as much as Cory believes that times have changed since the baseball rejected a professional football player on the colour basis, Troy remains adamant that his son Cory will more likely suffer the same hardships and disappointment he suffered in his attempt to become a baseball player.
For Troy, to accept the changing situation is to accept his own misfortune, thus, father and son draw apart by clinging to divergent perspectives of history, which only tend to support their opposite individual worldviews. Troy works so hard to advance himself and his family by joining the Negro Leagues where he achieves massive recognition, something that was unheard of before, but his rise in the sport is curtailed by his colour, which deprives him the opportunity to play baseball at the highest level.
This deprivation causes him to become embittered and frustrated, and this pits him against his son Cory, who plays football; Cory’s pursuit of self-advancement through the game is a source of conflict rather than of connection with his father. Troy’s experience of historical injustice and oppression under a highly stratified hierarchical social system has affected him to the extent that he does not want to acknowledge the changing situation; in Troy’s perspective, nothing of value to the black could ever come out of the dominant white world.
In this respect, Troy prevents Cory’s success by declining to approve his son’s scholarship, thereby acting as a psychological barrier that kept Cory from growing into a man; Cory tells the father, “you are in my way…” (August 6).
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