Fences Act 2 Scene 5 Summary

     Scene five takes place in 1965 on the day of Troy's funeral. Cory returns from the Marines to meet Raynell for the first time in seven years. Lyons and Bono come by and reunite with Cory, whom they are pleased to see is doing so well. Lyons admits that he and his wife split up four years ago, about the time that Troy retired. Lyons is apparently serving three years in prison for cashing fake checks; he has nine months left to go. He's still trying to play music whenever he can. Rose tells Cory that his father died while he was hitting the baseball in the front yard. Cory then tells his mother that he's not going to attend the funeral. Rose tells him not to do that. She knows that Troy was difficult, and she understands that Cory is trying to stand up for himself, but it's the wrong decision. Eventually, Cory changes his mind. When Rose goes in to answer the phone, Raynell asks Cory if he knew the dog Blue. Cory says no, but he knows the song, so he starts singing it. Raynell joins in. The song seems to represent Troy as the dog thinks he is helping those around him and then dies in the end. Gabe walks up. He tries to blow his trumpet to signal to St. Peter to open the gates for Troy, but the trumpet is missing a mouthpiece, so it won't work. Instead Gabe howls and dances as the gates of heaven open up to end the play.

     In the end all of the people in Troy's life have found distractions, but no one has found happiness. Rose has become involved in the church. Lyons is stuck in jail. Cory is involved in the Marines, and Gabe is trapped in the asylum. Only Raynell has hope of a future happy and free from Troy's meddling.

     Race, mortality, and dreams provide the topics focused on by the play. Troy feels he is held back by the white man, so he doesn't allow Cory to take advantage of the opportunities that have since begun to open up for the African Americans. Troy constantly addresses death, especially after Alberta dies, and death ultimately takes Troy. Many of the characters have dreams for themselves that they don't see realized, such as Rose talking about a better life or Cory wanting to go to college. Troy does achieve his goal of getting a promotion at work, but it leaves him dissatisfied and lonely. He isolates himself more and more throughout the play leading to his death.

     The play ends with a magical moment tied to the motif of religion when Gabe tries to get his brother into heaven by blowing his trumpet, thinking he is the Archangel Gabriel. When it doesn't work, his illusion seems to chatter, and he realizes he is not an angel. However, he finds another way to help his brother by reaching into his African roots and doing a symbolic song and dance, allowing the play to end in a somewhat positive manner.

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