Discuss the changing relationship between Bono and Troy in Fences.  

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

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There are a couple of reasons that Wilson has constructed the relationship between Troy and Bono in the manner he has.  The fact that both men are strikingly similar at the start of the drama is important to note.  Both of them are challenged by the same economic and social reality.  Yet, Bono understands this for what it is and refuses to acquiesce to it, while Troy cannot move past it and almost becomes a victim to that which he hates so much.  Bono has recognized these realities and still refuses to let these forces define him.  He has found happiness with his own life, recognizes how social and economic forces have impacted other people in his life, such as the men of the previous generation.  To avoid these "walking blues," and the idea of being perpetually miserable, Bono has adopted a perspective on life where a small corner of personal consciousness has been established where there is contentment and happiness.  Troy has not done this.  While Bono has refused to become victim to the world around him, Troy's anger and hatred at these settings have almost trapped him.  The opening scene's discussion about Troy's relationship with Alberta brings to light how different both men view the realm of the private.  What Troy sees as burdensome and of weight, Bono sees as lightness.  In the end, the different paradigms that each men  adopt towards consciousness helps to drive the wedge between their friendship.  Bono recognizes that while his friendship with Troy is important, he also grasps that there is a level of misery in Troy's heart that cannot be alleviated.  This is something that Bono cannot risk, as his happiness is one that could be appreciated by Troy if he possessed the moral courage to do so.  The fact that both men separate helps to bring to light that Troy's self- destructive path is not something to which all men have to become victim:  Bono's positive relationship with Lucille demonstrates that a man has the ability to change the direction of his life.

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kasumi | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

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Bono and Troy had a very close relationship. At the beginning of the play both men where introduced talking about work and how long they were friends (over 20 years ). As the play enters into the rising action Bono was telling Troy of how he was lucky to have Rose as a wife, but Troy could not grasp the meaning of what Bono was talking about.

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