Fences Act 1, Scene 2 Summary
- Lights rise on Rose hanging laundry and singing to herself, "Jesus, be a fence all around me every day" (1.2.2).
- Troy enters from the house.
- Rose asks if he's ready for breakfast.
- He tells her he's already put the coffee on, and that's all he wants.
- Rose tells him that Miss Pearl won a little money in the lottery the other day. She complains that the people who really need it never win.
- Troy tells her she shouldn't mess around with the numbers – it's a waste of time.
- Rose points out that a guy named Pope bought a restaurant out of the money he won.
- Her husband talks about how Pope always gives the best food to white people.
- Rose implies that he's just bringing that up because he's worried about what happened at work on Friday (when Troy complained about the racial inequality).
- Troy ignores her and asks where their son Cory is.
- Rose says the boy went out.
- Troy complains that Cory is just trying to avoid helping him with the fence they're supposed to be building.
- Gabriel comes down the alleyway. He hears Troy's voice and stops.
- Rose tells Troy that Cory went in for some extra football practice.
- Troy gets mad because Cory hasn't done his chores.
- Rose tells her husband to stop complaining about everything.
- Troy sees Gabriel in the alleyway. Stage directions tell us that Gabriel is Troy's brother.
- He's got a metal plate in his head from injury he got in WWII. He now thinks he is the archangel Gabriel.
- Gabriel has an old trumpet strung around his neck and is carrying a basket full of fruits and vegetables.
- He starts to sing that he's got plums for sale.
- Rose asks him what's in the basket.
- It turns out Gabriel doesn't actually have any plums; he just likes to sing about them.
- He says that tomorrow he'll have enough plums "for St. Peter and everybody" (1.2.38).
- He thinks Troy is mad at him because he moved out of the house to live in Ms. Pearl's basement.
- Troy says he's not mad at all.
- Gabriel brags that he's got two rooms and his own door. He proudly shows off his key.
- Rose asks if he wants some breakfast.
- He tells her he just wants some biscuits.
- He says that when he was in heaven, he and St. Peter ate biscuits every day.
- Sometimes St. Peter would go off and sleep, telling Gabriel to wake him up if Judgment Day came.
- Rose leaves, saying she'll make Gabriel some biscuits.
- Gabriel tells his brother that he saw his name in St. Peter's book.
- Troy tells him to go inside and eat.
- Gabriel says he already ate with Aunt Jemima.
- He tells Troy that he sold some tomatoes and now he has two quarters.
- Soon he'll buy a new horn so that St. Peter can find him on Judgment Day.
- Gabriel stops suddenly, thinking he hears some hell hounds.
- He runs off after them, singing about Judgment Day.
- Rose reenters. She says that Gabriel ought to be in a hospital, where they can take care of him properly.
- Troy says Gabriel shouldn't be locked up.
- He complains that his brother got half his head shot off in the war and only got three thousand dollars afterward.
- Troy used that money to buy his house and seems to feel guilty about it.
- Rose says he shouldn't feel bad; he took care of Gabe in the house as long Gabe wanted to be taken care of.
- Troy starts to head out of the yard.
- His wife asks him why he's been going off every Saturday, especially since he's supposed to be working on the fence.
- Troy says he's going to a place called Taylors' and that he'll finish the fence later.
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