All of the characters are "fenced in," by various barriers. Troy is working in a job where African Americans can get the lowest and most difficult tasks. On the home front, he has responsibilities to his family. Rose has chosen life with Troy as an alternative to "a succession of abusive men and their babies, a life of partying, or the Church." Troy’s son, Lyons, is supposedly a musician but is going nowhere. Cory has potential but has his dream of playing college football extinguished by both protective and jealous Troy. The characters must deal with hardships of daily life, racial discrimination, straining relationships with each other, and the feeling that this is all their lives are: somewhat of a confined space with no escape; fenced in.
Troy’s brother Gabriel, although minor, is important to the play for many reasons. The most importan...
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... frustrated with his life, but he has more than he realizes. Gabriel is able to appreciate the littlest things because they are all that he has. He is sort of the yang to the other characters’ yin; he seems to be the opposite, at least in terms of emotions. Everything in his life is magnified, something of enormous importance to him is miniscule to another. Therein lies the purpose of Gabriel in relation to the play. While the characters may be miserable and have their own battles to fight, while it seems as if there’s no purpose to life and their fences are impossible, they must appreciate the wealth of what lies inside those fences. While they may not be rich or have upper-class standing, they are important and do have each other. They are just as special as anyone else. They struggle, but that just makes their lives more meaningful. Gabriel helps demonstrate this
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