How would you describe the mood in the First Act of Wilson's Fences?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would say that the mood of the first act is one of conflict.  The emotional state of the first act is rife with conflicts that Troy faces.  Down the line and throughout the act, this mood presents itself as a part of the first act.  Troy feels conflict about his work, where he feels racism and discrimination against him is evident.  The discussion about his affair with Alberta creates another setting where conflict is evident, in that he denies the presence of the affair to Bono.  Another conflict is the presence of Lyons and his need for money.  This only adds to the mood of conflict and tension that Troy faces in his emotional world.  Gabriel's presence is another aspect of the emotional conflict and tension that Troy experiences, adding to the conflict present in the act.  The mood of conflict reaches its zenith at the end of the act when Cory and Troy battle over the son's dreams of playing football at the father's objection.  This triggers in Troy's own discussion of his internal mood of pain and conflict at his being imprisoned as a youth.  The entire emotional feeling of the first act is one of conflict and tension as we are introduced to Troy's world and the pain that exists within it.

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