Though the primary father-son relationship is between Troy and Cory—a relationship whose contention is borne from their similar dream, as well as Troy's transference of his fears and envy onto Cory—Troy's relationship with Lyons, his eldest child, is one defined by contrast.
The audience meets Lyons when he goes to Troy's house to ask for ten dollars. Lyons is married to a woman with a job in a hospital laundry, but does not have regular work. This gives Troy an opportunity to elevate himself—a hard-working man for the city—above his son. Troy's values and experience align him with many Americans who believe that any job is better than no job, and that one's worth is determined by your ability to make a living. Lyons, however, has rejected the traditional American dream and seeks his own:
But I got to live too. I need something that gonna help me to get out of the bed in the morning. Make me feel like I belong in the world. I don’t bother nobody. I just stay with my music cause...
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