Fences

Jim Bono Character Analysis

Troy’s best friend, Bono is the follower in their relationship, evidenced by his admission to Troy when confronting him about his affair with Alberta. Ever since Bono observed Troy’s decision to take Rose’s hand in marriage, Bono admired his sensibility and wisdom. Troy, though attractive to many women, chose to commit himself to Rose, and this signaled to Bono that he was a man worth following: that Troy would lead Bono somewhere prosperous in life. Unlike Rose, Bono gives-in to Troy’s fantasies—to his fictional tales about meeting with Mr. Death, probably as a result of Bono’s own, somewhat blind devotion to what he views as Troy’s strength and work ethic. Further, whereas Troy ultimately embodies betrayal and the hurt caused by adultery, Bono constantly demonstrates a devotion to his wife, Lucille. Whenever Bono leaves the Maxson household, he says he must get home to Lucille—even on Friday nights, when he and Troy engage in their ritual of drink and conversation, Bono leaves a little early in order to get home to his wife.

Jim Bono Quotes in Fences

The Fences quotes below are all either spoken by Jim Bono or refer to Jim Bono. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Plume edition of Fences published in 1986.
Act 1: Scene 1 Quotes

I ain’t worried about them firing me. They gonna fire me cause I asked a question? That’s all I did. I went to Mr. Rand and asked him, “Why?” Why you got the white mens driving and the colored lifting? Told him, “what’s the matter, don’t I count? You think only white fellows got sense enough to drive a truck. That ain’t no paper job! Hell, anybody can drive a truck. How come you got all whites driving and the colored lifting?” He told me “take it to the union.” Well, hell, that’s what I done! Now they wanna come up with this pack of lies.

Related Characters: Troy Maxson (speaker), Jim Bono
Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:

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I told that boy about that football stuff. The white man ain’t gonna let him get nowhere with that football. I told him when he first come to me with it. Now you come telling me he done went and got more tied up in it. He ought to go and get recruited in how to fix cars or something where he can make a living.

Related Characters: Troy Maxson (speaker), Cory Maxson, Rose Maxson, Jim Bono
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

I wrestled with Death for three days and three nights and I’m standing here to tell you about it. . . . At the end of the third night we done weakened each other to where we can’t hardly move. Death stood up, throwed on his robe . . . had him a white robe with a hood on it. He throwed on that robe and went off to look for his sickle. Say, “I’ll be back.” Just like that. . . . I told him, say, “yeah, but . . . you gonna have to find me!” I wasn’t no fool. I wasn’t going looking for him. Death aint nothing to play with. And I know he’s gonna get me. . . . But . . . as long as I keep up my vigilance . . . he’s gonna have to fight to get me. I ain’t going easy.

Related Characters: Troy Maxson (speaker), Rose Maxson, Jim Bono
Related Symbols: “Mr. Death”
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laboru

You ain’t seen no devil. I done told you that man ain’t had nothing to do with the devil. Anything you can’t understand, you want to call it the devil.

Related Characters: Rose Maxson (speaker), Troy Maxson, Lyons Maxson, Jim Bono
Related Symbols: “Mr. Death”
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Act 2: Scene 1 Quotes

Some people build fences to keep people out . . . and other people build fences to keep people in. Rose wants to hold on to you all. She loves you.

Related Characters: Jim Bono (speaker), Troy Maxson, Cory Maxson
Related Symbols: The Fence
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Jim Bono Character Timeline in Fences

The timeline below shows where the character Jim Bono appears in Fences. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1: Scene 1
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...place in 1957, and that Troy is fifty-three years old. Having a conversation, he and Bono enter the yard outside Troy’s house. Wilson writes that, of the two friends, Bono is... (full context)
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
The play begins by Bono accusing Troy of lying. Troy is telling a story about a black man—Troy actually refers... (full context)
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Troy and Bono’s conversation continues, and Bono says that the same man who was carrying the watermelon had... (full context)
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
The conversation then shifts to discussing a woman named Alberta. Bono asks Troy how he thinks one of their fellow co-workers is “making out” with Alberta,... (full context)
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...Alberta’s body, Rose enters from inside the house, walking onto the porch where Troy and Bono are seated. August Wilson writes a note in the script describing Rose as ten years... (full context)
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...shouldn’t concern herself, since it’s “men talk.” After embarrassing Rose by implying, in front of Bono, that he’s going to have sex with her later in the evening, Troy talks about... (full context)
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Bono chimes in and says that he and his wife Lucille’s first house also wasn’t in... (full context)
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...recruited in a trade where he can make a proper living, like being an auto-mechanic. Bono says that, if Cory is anything like his dad, Troy, then he’s going to be... (full context)
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...to give Lyons the money, and Lyons leaves shortly after. Troy says to Rose and Bono that he doesn’t understand why his son doesn’t go out and get a decent job... (full context)
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
The first scene ends with Troy telling Bono that he loves Rose “so much it hurts,” and that he “done run out of... (full context)
Act 1: Scene 4
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...fourth scene takes place two weeks after the third, on another Friday, when Troy and Bono engage in their payday ritual of drink and conversation. It begins as Cory gets a... (full context)
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
After Cory leaves, Rose goes back into the house, and Troy and Bono enter the yard. Troy is carrying a bottle of alcohol, and they’re talking about Mr.... (full context)
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...doesn’t gamble, and that he only attends that club to play music with his band. Bono then lets Lyons know about his father’s new job, adding that all Troy will have... (full context)
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Bono then talks about his own father, saying how he never knew him, since his dad... (full context)
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
Bono adds that a lot of fathers back in his and Troy’s childhood used to just... (full context)
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
...explains that he walked two-hundred miles from his home to Mobile, but Lyons doesn’t believe him—Bono chimes in, and adds that walking was the only way to get around in those... (full context)
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
...killing him. Troy explains that this got him fifteen years in prison, where he met Bono and learned how to play baseball. (full context)
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...Lyons leaves soon after, and Troy asks Rose if supper is ready, implying—in front of Bono—that she should hurry, since they’re overdue to have sex. Embarrassed, Rose objects to Troy’s crudeness,... (full context)
Act 2: Scene 1
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...station to check on Gabe, who was arrested for disturbing the peace. Troy returns, with Bono, and says that he bailed Gabe out by paying fifty dollars. Troy tells Rose to... (full context)
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
Bono starts to help Troy with sawing wood for the fence, and Troy says that all... (full context)
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Mortality Theme Icon
Bono agrees with Troy that all the police care about is money. Bono then criticizes Troy... (full context)
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Bono then tells Troy he’s seen where he and Alberta “all done got tight.” Troy asks... (full context)
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Cory then enters the yard from the house, and Troy tells him that Bono is complaining that the wood’s too hard to cut. Wanting to show off Cory’s strength,... (full context)
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...fence, Cory questions why Rose even wants it built in the first place. Supporting Rose, Bono replies that, while some people build fences to keep people out, some build them to... (full context)
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Wanting a private moment with Bono, Troy tells Cory to go into the house to get a saw. Troy asks Bono... (full context)
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Seeming still agitated by Bono’s comment, Troy wonders what motive Bono has in saying all of this about Rose, but... (full context)
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Troy says that he appreciates Bono’s sentiments, and claims that, while he didn’t go out looking for anything, and thinks that... (full context)
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Mortality Theme Icon
Bono replies that Troy is ultimately the one responsible for his actions, but Troy explains that... (full context)
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
While Bono doesn’t doubt Troy’s love and respect for Rose, he says he worries about what will... (full context)
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Troy replies that he gets involved in Bono and Lucille’s business all the time and, confirming this, he asks Bono when he’s going... (full context)
Act 2: Scene 4
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
As Troy sings the song about his old dog Blue, Bono enters the yard. Bono says he wanted to visit with Troy, since he barely sees... (full context)
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...garbage, since you have no one to talk to, and then he asks how Lucille, Bono’s wife, is doing. Bono says Lucille is doing alright, despite her arthritis. Troy then offers... (full context)
Act 2: Scene 5
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Mortality Theme Icon
...years after its beginning. Troy has died, and it’s the morning of his funeral. Rose, Bono, and Raynell (now seven years old) are gathered at the Maxson household. Raynell is in... (full context)
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
As Rose and Cory embrace, Bono and Lyons enter the yard—they’re both impressed by Cory’s accomplishments in the military. Rose says... (full context)
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Bono leaves to go help at the church where Troy’s funeral will be held, and Rose... (full context)