Fences By August Wilson. Discussion Questions and Answers. Act 1, Scene 1. 1. What incident between Mr. Rand and Troy is Bono concerned with?. Act I, Scene 1.
FencesBy August Wilson
Discussion Questions and Answers
1. What incident between Mr. Rand and Troy is Bono concerned with?
Troy filed a complaint because all the white garbage men can drive the truck while the black men have to do the heavy lifting. Bono is eager to hear the latest news of Troy's conversations with Mr. Rand and the Commissioner of the union about his complaint. Troy says that Mr. Rand told him to take the complaint to the union the following Friday. Troy isn't afraid of getting fired.
2. Why does Troy shop at Bella’s instead of the A&P?
2. Troy likes to spend his money where he is treated right and where the people are good to him.
3. Describe Troy’s relationship with Rose.
Rose is 10 years younger than Troy. She is devoted to Troy and cooks for him. Rose ignores Troy’s flaws since she is happy to be in a stable relationship. Rose and Troy tell Bono about the ways Rose has changed Troy for the better as a married man.
4. How does Troy feel about Cory playing football? How does Rose feel?
Troy says, “I told that boy about that football stuff. The white man ain’t gonna let him get nowhere with that football” (8). Troy would rather have Cory learn a trade so that he can make a living. Rose feels that Cory should be able to play like the other school boys. She knows he doesn’t plan on making a living off of football.
5. How was Troy involved in baseball in the past? What is his attitude towards it now?
Troy played on the Negro Leagues before the war. He was a successful player who hit homeruns. He didn’t gain from it financially since he was too old once the Major Leagues started accepting black players.
What story does Troy tell about wrestling with Death?
When Rose tells Troy he will drink himself to death he says that “Death ain’t nothing. I done seen him. Done wrestled with him. You can’t tell me nothing about death…” (10). He compares Death to a fastball on the outside corner. He doesn’t fear Death and even came close to dying once when he had pneumonia and was hospitalized.
7. Who is Lyons? Why has he stopped by?
Lyons, a son Troy had before he met Rose, shows up at the house as he has tended to do on many Fridays in the past. Lyons knows it is Troy's payday. He asks to borrow money.
8. What story does Troy tell about Hertzberger’s furniture store? Why does he connect that episode with the devil?
Troy wanted to buy furniture but couldn’t get credit. A white man who Troy likens to the devil shows up and tells him that he can finance the furniture by paying interest. Troy sends his $10 the first of every month because he fears that the “devil” will come back and that there will be hell to pay.
9. Why won’t Lyons take a job working with Troy?
Lyons says that working, especially as a garbage man, isn’t for him. He says, “I don’t wanna be carrying nobody’s rubbish. I don’t wanna be punching nobody’s time clock” (17).
10. Contrast Troy’s attitude towards life with Lyon’s attitude towards life.
Troy feels that Lyons is living the fast life since he wants to be a musician and not pursue a stable job. Troy tells Lyons that he has learned from his mistakes and that Lyons can’t try to get something for nothing. He then tells Lyons, “Life don’t owe you nothing. You owe it to yourself.” Lyons would rather be true to himself and be a musician, even if it means that his father has to lend him money.
11. Why does Lyons say that Troy can’t change him?
Lyons says, “You can’t change me, Pop. I’m thirty-four years old. If you wanted to change me, you should have been there when I was growing up” (18).
12. What does Lyons say that makes Troy feel guilty enough to loan him $10?
Lyons says to Troy, “You don’t know nothing about how I was raised.” (We will find out that Troy was in jail while Lyons was growing up).
Troy gives his money to Rose and she in turn gives it to Lyons.