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Fences

Fences

by August Wilson

Fences Act 2, Scene 5 Summary

  • Stage directions tells us that it's now 1965. It's the morning of Troy's funeral.
  • There's a funeral plaque next to the door.
  • Raynell, now seven years old, enters from the house, wearing a flannel nightgown. She stares at a small garden plot.
  • Rose comes to the door and asks Raynell what she's doing.
  • The girl says she's looking to see if her garden has grown.
  • Rose tells her it won't grow overnight and that Raynell needs to come inside to get dressed.
  • Rose goes back into the house.
  • Cory enters, wearing a Marine corporal's uniform.
  • Raynell calls to Rose, saying there's a man in the yard.
  • Rose comes out and has a tearful reunion with Cory. She's so happy that he made it.
  • Bono and Lyons enter wearing funeral clothes.
  • Lyons is impressed that Cory is now a corporal.
  • Bono says Cory reminds him of Troy when he first met him.
  • Bono takes his leave, saying he's got to go get the pallbearers ready at the church.
  • Rose offers everybody breakfast.
  • Lyons says he'll have some, but Cory tells her he isn't hungry.
  • She goes inside to whip something up.
  • Lyons congratulates Cory on his upcoming marriage.
  • He tells his brother he always knew he'd make something of himself.
  • Things haven't gone as well for Lyons. Bonnie left him a few years ago and he got in trouble for cashing other people's checks.
  • At first they sentenced him to three years in the workhouse, but now it's only nine months.
  • He says it's not so bad.
  • "You got to take the crookeds with the straights," Lyons tells Cory (2.5.57).
  • Lyons says Troy used to say that whenever he struck out.
  • He reminisces about a time when Troy struck out three times in a row, but on the fourth time at bat he knocked the ball out of the park.
  • Cory asks his brother if he is still playing music.
  • Lyons says he is, and that that's the only way he knows how to make sense of the world.
  • Rose calls from inside the house, saying Lyons's eggs are ready.
  • Before going to eat, Lyons asks Cory how he's doing with Troy's death.
  • Stage directions tell us that the two brothers share a silent moment of grief.
  • Lyons enters the house.
  • Cory wanders around the yard.
  • After a moment, Raynell approaches him.
  • She asks Cory if he used to sleep in her room.
  • He says, yeah.
  • Raynell tells him that Troy used to always call it "Cory's room" and that Cory's football is still in the closet (2.5.67).
  • Rose yells for Raynell to come inside and change her shoes.
  • After some protesting, the girl goes inside.
  • Rose comes out into the yard. She tells Cory that his father died while swinging the bat at the rag ball hanging from the tree.
  • Rose says he died with a smile on his face.
  • Hesitantly, Cory informs his mother that he won't be going to Troy's funeral.
  • "I've got to say no to him. One time in my life I got to say no," Cory tells her (2.5.79).
  • Rose goes off on him. She says being disrespectful to the memory of his father isn't going to make him a man.
  • Cory says Troy was like a shadow haunting him all his life.
  • Rose tells him that he's just like his father.
  • That's the last thing Cory wants to hear.
  • Rose says Troy tried to make sure Cory didn't turn out like him, but in the process he did just the opposite.
  • She admits her husband was a big man who was sometimes too rough and sometimes took too much.
  • Rose says that by the time Raynell came along, she and Troy had lost touch with each other.
  • She says she's determined to raise Raynell like Troy raised Cory.
  • The phone rings.
  • Raynell comes out and says it's the Reverend.
  • Rose goes to answer it.
  • Raynell asks Cory if he knew Blue, the dog Troy always used to sing about.
  • Cory and Raynell begin to sing the song together.
  • Toward the end they sing "Blue laid down and died like a man/Now he's treeing possums in the Promised Land." It seems pretty clear that, in a way, they're singing about Troy (2.5.101).
  • Gabriel comes down the alleyway shouting for Rose.
  • Lyons and Rose come out on the porch; they're glad the people at the hospital let Gabe out for the funeral.
  • Gabe announces that it's finally time for the gates of heaven to open.
  • He puts his trumpet to his lips and tries as best he can to blow.
  • No sound comes out.
  • He tries again and again but nothing happens.
  • Gabe begins to do a ritualistic dance and sings a strange song.
  • Stage directions tell us that by the time he completes the dance, "the gates of heaven stand open as wide as God's closet" (2.5.113).

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