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by August Wilson

Fences Dissatisfaction Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line)

Quote #7

Troy: "I done locked myself into a pattern trying to take care of you all that I forgot about myself." (2.1.114)

Troy takes the blame for his dissatisfaction and his affair upon himself. He claims it's his fault that he became so unhappy with his life because he didn't take the time to make himself happy. Does his character gain any sympathy by taking responsibility for his actions? Or is a cheater a cheater no matter what his excuses are?

Quote #8

Troy: "Then when I saw that gal [Alberta]...she firmed up my backbone. And I got to thinking that if I tried...I just might be able to steal second." (2.1.118)

How dissatisfied was Troy with his life before Alberta? He claims to have been happy with his family. Do you think it was meeting Alberta that made him feel dissatisfied, or did her presence only stir up what was already there?

Quote #9

Lyons: "You got to take the crookeds with the straights. That's what Papa used to say. He used to say that when he struck out. I seen him strike out three times in a row...and the next time up he hit the ball over the grandstand....He wasn't satisfied hitting in the seats...he want to hit it over everything!" (2.5.57)

Lyons seems to be saying that Troy's philosophy was that you have to accept both the good and the bad things that life throws at you, but you should never be satisfied with being just mediocre. You should always try as hard as you can to be the best you can be. (Wow, this is sounding like a Nike commercial or something.) What evidence do you see in the play that Troy lived his life by this philosophy? Did he always measure up to his own ideals?

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