Fences Study Guide

What are the passages into manhood?
-when Troy finds out his father wanted to have sex with his girlfriend
– when Cory hits his father
What is the Friday ritual?
-Troy and Bono drink gin together
-Bono asks Troy about his relationship with Alberta
-Lyons asks to borrow money from Troy
What is the Saturday ritual? How does this change?
-The family works on chores around the house, working on the fence
-Troy gets promoted and it isolates him from the community- he is unable to see family and friends as often
Who is Gabe? Why does Troy feel guilty about using Gabe’s check?
-Gabe is Troy’s brother.
-Gabe receives the checks because of his disability- he needs them, and Troy uses i to pay for the house
What event changes Troy and Rose’s marriage?
Troy cheats on her with Alberta, and Alberta is pregnant with his baby
What is the climax of the play?
-when Cory and Troy have a huge fight, Cory confronts him about the affair and baby, and about using Gabe’s money for the house
How are European immigrants treated differently than the descendants of African slaves?
European immigrants have more social and economic mobility
What does Bono mean when he says “Times have changed, Troy. You just came along too early?”
Troy was not able to play major league baseball because he was too old by the time they allowed for black players
Differences between how Troy and Rose view the lottery
-Rose likes to play and thinks good things can come from it- Pope example
-Troy thinks it is a waste of time and hates that Rose does it
-Troy is cynical/pessimistic and Rose is a dreamer
Where i Cory coming from when he enters for the first time?
Football practice
What is the lesson Troy tries to teach Cory when they talk about TV?
-how to prioritize and taking care of the family, putting his needs before wants
Why doesn’t Troy want Cory to play football? What is Troy’s fear?
He is fearful that Cory will get denied playing in the big leagues because he is black, just like what happened to Troy
What does Troy mean when he comments “You’ve gotta take the crooked with the straights.”?
Things are not all good or bad, you have to take both together
Does Troy like Cory?
Yes- he provides for him and fulfills a patriarchal duty but does not show love or affection as a father
What does Rose want Troy to admit about his baseball experience and why he didn’t make it to the majors?
He was too old by the time blacks were integrated into the Major Leagues
What was important to Troy’s father? Why didn’t he leave?
It was important to his father to provide for his family; his sense of duty to them prevented him from leaving
What even changed his relationship with his father?
When he found out that his father wanted to have sex with his girlfriend.
How old was Troy when he left home?
14
How did these events affect his relationship with his sons?
– He expects his sons to be just as independent as he was at that age
– Disrupts his emotional attachment to them
Why does Rose say Gabe was arrested?
He was disturbing the peace
What news does Troy have for Rose?
He is having a child with another woman
What is Troy’s reason for his relationship with Alberta?
She makes him feel young and alive and can be himself. He feels as though he has and can succeed around her, and he got bored with Rose
What metaphor does Troy use for life?
Baseball and strikes
How does the news of Alberta’s baby affect what Rose wanted in her life?
She becomes more Christian and more involved with the church
What info has Rose learned from Miss Pearl?
Troy signed for Gabe to be locked up in the hospital and Troy is receiving half of Gabe’s check
What information does Rose want from Troy?
Why he doesn’t come home on Fridays
How has their relationship changed?
Rose is a mother but not a wife anymore
Troy is no longer a husband or a father, only a provider.
Themes
– how one’s past affects their future
– importance of family
– The American Dream
– personal and cultural history
Symbols
-fences- literal and figurative- keep people in and keep people out
-trains- freedom, new start
-The Devil- Troy’s struggle wit life, always bringing news of death
What is baseball a metaphor for?
Life-realtes every event in his life to baseball
Death- explains his battle with death
-the quarrel with Cory
-his reason for cheating
What did Troy ask for from the commissioner?
A promotion to become a truck driver
Who is Alberta?
Troy’s mistress
Troy is stuck on her because he feels like himself and is successful around her. Wither her he feels like he can go back to his dream.
What has Rose always wanted for her family?
A fence- wants to build it in order to keep Troy “in”

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