by August Wilson
Fences Mortality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line)
Gabriel: "Did you know when I was in heaven...every morning me and St. Peter would sit down by the gate and eat some big fat biscuits?" (1.2.48)
It's interesting that both Troy and his brother, Gabriel, have had near-death experiences. While Troy was suffering from pneumonia, he hallucinated that he was wrestling with Death. When Gabriel was recovering from a battlefield head wound, he imagined he was hanging out with a friendly St. Peter. What do you think these individual fantasies say about each of the brothers? What might the differences between the hallucinations say about each brother's character?
Gabriel: "[St. Peter] Ain't got my name in the book. Don't have to have my name. I done died and went to heaven." (1.2.52)
Gabriel seems totally unafraid of death. In his mind, he's already been there and it wasn't so bad. How do you think his attitude toward death affects the way he lives his life?
Troy: "How you know how long I'm gonna be here, nigger? Hell, I might just live forever." (2.1.15)
Here Troy seems to have a pretty optimistic view of death. At other times he's little more realistic about it, but in this scene he seems to be in bragging mode. This tends to happen a lot whenever his buddy Bono is around.