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Fences the Play

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In the play Fences, which was written by August Wilson, Bono, Gabe, and Alberta are all
very important people in Troy’s life. Bono is Troy’s best friend, and through him the
reader learns that Troy is a very strong character. Through Gabe, people can see some of
the guilt Troy has inside. Alberta helped Troy escape from his problems, and have a few
laughs every once in awhile. Each one of these characters tells the reader something
different about Troy. Throughout the years, Bono has always been there for Troy. They
have been friends for about eighteen years. Bono never hesitated to tell Troy anything,
especially his opinion on Alberta. “I know what Rose means to you, Troy I’m just trying
to say I don’t want to see you mess up.” (p.63) Bono’s words show the reader how much
he cares about Troy. Bono was always straightforward with Troy. He even said, “That’s
right. I know you. I know you got some Uncle Ramus in your blood. You got more
stories than the devil got sinners.” (p.13) Much of Troy is shown in Bono because he has
been with him through the good times and the bad. Another character who has helped
reveal complexities about Troy is Gabe, Troy’s brother. Gabe has a metal plate in his
head; caused by his time in War World II. The government in return gave Gabe monthly
checks. The only way Troy was able to pay for his house was through the governments’
money. “That’s the only way I got a roof over my head…Cause of that metal plate.”
(p.28) When Gabe moved in with Miss Pearl, Troy started to feel guilty. He was feeling
culpability because not only was Gabe’s money paying for Troy’s house, but now he was
paying money to Miss Pearl that could have been Troy’s. When Gabe said, “Got me two
rooms. In the basement. Got my own door key too.” (p.25) Troy felt very guilty. He
could have used that money for his own family. Also, almost weekly Troy had to pay $50
to get Gabe out of jail. Neighbors complained that he was disturbing the peace. Gabe
added to Troy’s character tremendously. Alberta is another character that helps reveal
some of the complexities of Troy. Alberta is the woman with whom Troy had an affair.
She helped Troy escape from his everyday life problems. When asked about Alberta,
Troy had replied, “She gives me a different understanding about myself. I can step out of
this house and get away from the pressures and problems…be a different man.” (p.69)
When he is with Alberta he feels that he does not have anything to worry about. This is
shown when Troy says, “I ain’t got to wonder how I’m gonna pay the bills or get the roof
fixed. I can just be a part of myself I ain’t never been.” (p.69) Alberta also helped Troy
realize the value of responsibility. When Alberta passed away, Troy was the only one
who originally had to take care of Raynell, until Rose said she would. Alberta was very
important in this play. Throughout this play, many of Troy’s complexities are shown
through other characters. Through Gabe, Bono, and Alberta, Troy shows all of his
complexities as a man.