From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by August Wilson

Fences Act 2, Scene 4 Summary

  • Lyons enters from the street, knocks on the door, and calls for Rose.
  • Rose calls from inside the house, telling Lyons to stop yelling – she's just gotten Raynell to sleep.
  • Lyons says he's come by to pay Troy back the twenty dollars he owes him.
  • Rose tells him to come inside and put the money on the table.
  • He does so. As he's exiting, Cory enters.
  • Lyons apologizes to Cory for missing his graduation – he had a gig and couldn't make it.
  • Cory says it's alright.
  • Lyons asks Cory what he's up to now.
  • Looking for a job, Cory replies.
  • Lyons tells him he ought to see if Troy can help him find one.
  • Cory doesn't seem too excited by the idea.
  • Lyons exits.
  • Cory picks up the bat and practices his swing.
  • Troy enters the yard.
  • Cory stares at him for a second, then exits.
  • Rose enters from the house, carrying a cake. She's taking it down to the church for a bake sale.
  • Rose tells Troy that his dinner is on the stove and that Lyons left him twenty dollars.
  • Troy tries to give Rose some money. She tells him to put it on the table.
  • He asks her when she's coming back.
  • Rose says it's none of his business and heads off to church.
  • Troy sits on the porch and sings the song about Blue the hound dog while sipping on some gin.
  • Bono enters.
  • Troy says he hasn't seen him in a while.
  • His friend tells him it's been hard to keep up with him since he got the promotion.
  • Troy doesn't like driving as much as he thought he would, because there's no one to talk to.
  • He asks Bono if he wants a drink.
  • Bono says he can't; he's about to go play dominoes at Skinner's.
  • He tells Troy he should stop by and play sometime.
  • Troy says he heard that Bono bought Lucille the refrigerator she'd been wanting.
  • Bono says he did, because he heard Troy finished his fence.
  • Troy tells his friend that he'll be sure to stop by.
  • Bono exits.
  • Troy sips some more gin and sings about Blue.
  • Cory enters.
  • Troy is sitting in the middle of the steps.
  • Cory tells his father he needs to get by.
  • Troy says he ought to say excuse me.
  • The argument escalates.
  • Cory says Troy "doesn't count around here no more" (2.4.70).
  • Troy goes off about how he pays for everything and provides for Cory.
  • Cory tells Troy to get out of his way.
  • His father yells at him to get out of the yard. He says he's through providing for Cory.
  • Cory replies that all Troy ever did was hold him back and try to make him scared of him.
  • He says he doesn't know how his mother puts up with Troy after what he did.
  • Troy tells him to shut up about Rose.
  • Cory taunts his father, saying he's too old to do anything about it.
  • Troy shoves Cory and orders him to leave the yard.
  • His son retorts that it isn't Troy's yard anyway – he bought it with Gabe's disability money, then kicked him out.
  • Troy angrily steps up to Cory.
  • Cory picks up Troy's bat and dares his father to get closer.
  • Troy lunges at Cory.
  • His son swings the bat and misses (strike one).
  • He does it again and misses once more (strike two).
  • Troy sticks out his head, daring his son to hit him with the bat.
  • Cory can't bring himself to do it (strike three).
  • Troy grabs the bat and they wrestle over it.
  • In the end, Troy yanks the bat from Cory's hands.
  • He starts to swing it at his son but thinks better of it.
  • Troy orders Cory to leave.
  • Ashamed, Cory starts to skulk off.
  • "Tell Mama I'll be back for my things," he says to Troy (2.4.110).
  • Troy replies, "They'll be on the other side of that fence" (2.4.111).
  • Cory exits.
  • Troy grabs the bat and taunts Death.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...