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Fences

Summary Act Two: Scene One
Summary Act Two: Scene One

Bono's poignant observation of why Rose wants the fence built contributes to Bono's success in pushing Troy to admit the truth about his affair. Troy's confession to Bono causes a disturbance, or a major reversal, in Troy's behavior and leads to the rising action escalating in Troy's admission of his affair to Rose. Until this moment, Troy has lived in denial about his affair, allowing himself the luxury of believing in and escaping to a world of illusions with Alberta, separate from his real-life responsibilities and disappointments. By announcing out loud to Bono the truth, Troy begins to make real the betrayal he has committed to himself. Unfortunately for Troy, his timing is too late. Alberta is pregnant; creating another realized form of his betrayal that will not be erased. Troy and Rose argue about Gabe's recent arrest and decision to move out, driving the rising action forward and steeping Troy and Rose in the unsatisfying bickering of their failing relationship. Rose's involvement in Gabe's life also expresses how closely linked Troy's family is with her own life, a stark contrast to the lover, Alberta who is a stranger with no familial duties. Troy blurts out to Rose the fact of his affair with Alberta in a double dose of shocking betrayal. He does not first reveal his affair and then the pregnancy, but dishes both parts of his news at once saying to Rose, "I'm gonna be a daddy." Rose demands an explanation and Troy, still clinging to a world of illusions and selfish excuses, only provides Rose with indulgent reasons why he needed to be with Alberta, and never apologizes for his decision.

Rose and Troy's disparate outlooks on how to live their life come to a head here. When Troy explains that having the affair felt like he was achieving something instead of remaining stagnant in a dead-end career and failing relationships at home by describing the decision as stealing second, like the move in baseball, Rose snaps at Troy in an effort to ground him in the reality of his mistake. She says, "We're not talking about baseball! We're talking about you going off to lay in bed with another woman!" Troy continues to see the story only from his point of view with no comprehension of the effect his actions have on anyone but himself, even when his actions will soon bring a new life into the world and change the life of those who are closest to him forever.