At the end of act two, scene two, Troy gives a short soliloquy (a speech conducted by a character alone on the stage during which he reveals private thoughts). How has the fence changed for Troy?
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Troy enters into “a quiet rage that threatens to consume him.” He has a conversation with “Mr. Death” and tells him that he will build a fence around his yard to keep what belongs to him. Death can bring his army, but Troy tells him that he “ain’t gonna fall down on my vigilance this time.” Troy’s conversation with “Mr. Death” is a dramatization of his fear of dying. In several instances, most notably his bout with pneumonia, Troy casts himself as narrowly escaping death. For Troy, death is something that is always near to him. Only through his wits is he able to escape it. Alberta’s death is a kind of wake-up call for Troy. It is a realization that he has fallen down on his duties as a man and as a human being. Troy’s fence now becomes a fence of safety. Instead of keeping his family away from him, his fence is now meant to hold everyone inside.