Fences
Fences
by August Wilson
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Fences Act 2, Scene 1 Summary

  • Lights rise on Cory hitting the rag ball hanging from the tree with a baseball bat.
  • Rose comes out and tells Cory to help her clean the cupboard.
  • Cory says he's not quitting the team, no matter what his father says.
  • Rose says she'll talk to him about it when he gets back.
  • Evidently Gabriel got arrested for disturbing the peace, and Troy is trying to get him out of jail.
  • For now, she tells her son, come help clean the cupboard.
  • Cory goes inside.
  • Rose sees Troy and Bono coming down the alleyway. She asks Troy what happened with Gabe.
  • Troy tells her he paid them fifty dollars to let him out of jail.
  • He asks where Cory is.
  • Rose replies that he's inside helping her clean the cupboard.
  • Troy tells her to get Cory to come outside.
  • Rose goes back into the house.
  • Bono and Troy walk over to the woodpile.
  • Bono complains that Troy bought hardwood for the fence instead of something soft like pine.
  • Pine is for inside, says Troy.
  • His buddy tells him that a fence made of pine would've stayed around for as long as Troy was alive.
  • Troy says he may never die.
  • Bono brings up the fact that Troy has been talking and laughing with Alberta a lot lately.
  • Troy says he does that with all the ladies.
  • His friend implies that he's doing more than just talking with Alberta.
  • Cory enters from the house.
  • Start sawing some boards, his father tells him.
  • Both Bono and Troy are impressed with Cory's sawing skills.
  • Cory wonders why Rose might want a fence.
  • Troy doesn't get it either; they don't have anything valuable enough to steal.
  • Bono suggests that maybe Rose is trying to keep them in; she wants the fence because she's afraid of losing Cory and Troy.
  • Go inside and look for another saw, Troy tells Cory.
  • Troy asks Bono what he meant by that statement.
  • Bono tells Troy that he's respected him for a long time. He says that when Troy chose Rose over all the other girls, he knew Troy had some sense.
  • Bono tells his friend that he's learned a lot from him over the years. He reminds Troy that Rose is a good woman.
  • Troy says he knows that already.
  • Bono emphasizes how much Rose loves Troy.
  • Troy asks if his friend is saying all this because of Alberta.
  • Bono says he just doesn't want to see Troy mess up his marriage.
  • Troy is grateful for his friend's advice and tells him so.
  • He says he knows he won't find a better woman than Rose, but that Alberta has gotten "stuck" to him (2.1.47).
  • Bono advises his friend that he has to take responsibility for his own actions.
  • Troy says he'll do what feels right in his heart.
  • If you try to have both of them, Bono tells him, you're bound to end up losing one.
  • Troy tells his friend he's trying to find a way to work it out.
  • Bono says he doesn't mean to be all up in Troy and Rose's business.
  • Troy says he's going to get in Bono and Lucille's business. He reminds Bono that Lucille has been wanting a refrigerator for awhile.
  • I'll get Lucille a refrigerator when you finish this fence for Rose, Bono tells his friend.
  • Troy begins sawing a board.
  • Bono starts to exit. Troy asks where he's going.
  • I'm not helping you now, says Bono. The longer it takes for Troy to finish the fence, the longer it will be until Bono has to buy that fridge.
  • Rose enters from the house. She asks Troy what happened with Gabe.
  • Troy tells her again about how he paid a bribe to get his brother out.
  • He adds that there will be a hearing soon that will decide whether Gabe needs to be committed to a home.
  • Troy says he told the judge that he'd take care of Gabriel. Right now, Gabe is wandering around on his own.
  • Rose suggests that maybe Gabe ought to be in a hospital, where he'd be taken care of.
  • Troy says it's not right for his brother to be committed – Gabe isn't a threat to anybody. On top of that, Gabe only has mental problems because he got hurt fighting for his country. Troy thinks society owes Gabe some slack.
  • Rose recognizes Troy's point of view. She tells him to stop worrying about his brother and come inside to eat.
  • Troy says he has to tell her something first.
  • He breaks the news that he's gotten Alberta pregnant.
  • Rose can't believe what she's hearing.
  • Gabriel enters, carrying a rose for Rose.
  • She tells him to go in the house and eat some watermelon. He does.
  • Rose goes off on Troy.
  • She can't believe this is happening after eighteen years of marriage.
  • Troy says he can't undo what's been done.
  • His wife says he should have stayed in her bed.
  • Troy explains that he can relax at Alberta's house in a way that he can't at home.
  • He says he can't give her up.
  • Rose tells him he ought to go stay with her then, if she's so much better.
  • She's not better than you, Troy says. It's just that all the pressure of being the breadwinner for the household won't allow him to truly relax and be himself at home.
  • Troy talks about how grateful he was to have Rose and Cory in his life; they helped him be a better man.
  • Rose says he should've stayed in her bed then.
  • She tells him that she thought of being with other people at times, too. But instead of being unfaithful she stayed beside him.
  • Rose says Troy is always talking about how much he gives to the family but he doesn't realize how much he's taken.
  • She starts to exit.
  • Troy roughly grabs her arm, offended that she said he doesn't give enough.
  • Rose begs him to let her go.
  • Cory enters.
  • He grabs Troy from behind, hauling him off of Rose, then punches Troy in the chest.
  • Troy goes after Cory but stops when Rose begs him to.
  • "That's strike two," Troy menacingly says to his son (2.1.139).

Next Page: Act 2, Scene 2
Previous Page: Act 1, Scene 4

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