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Gabriel Maxson of Fences

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Stephanie Wong

on 21 January 2014

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Transcript of Gabriel Maxson of Fences

Gabriel Maxson of Fences
How does the audience's
view of Gabriel Maxson change, depending on the ending
of the play?

Who is is the Archangel Gabriel?
Who is Gabriel Maxson?
Who is Gabriel Maxson?
Who is Gabriel Maxson?
"Troy's younger brother [Gabriel], he is seven years younger than Troy. Injured in WWII, he has a metal plate in his head. He carries an old trumpet tied around his waist and believes with every fiber in his body that he is the Archangel Gabriel. He carries a chipped basket with assortment of discarded fruits and vegetables he has picked up in the strip district and which he attempts to sell." pg 24
No job
Because of his head injury he receives disability money from the government.
Very innocent, therefore resulting in childlike ways.
Very caring, especially towards Troy
Who was the Archangel Gabriel?
The name Gabriel means 'God's Hero'
He is God's special messenger angel.
On several occasions in the Bible he is given the job of coming to earth to give important announcements and tell of special events
Do you think Troy goes to heaven?
Ending of Fences pg 100-101
"Gabriel: 'Hey, Rose its time. Its time to tell saint peter to open the gates. Troy, you ready? You ready, Troy. I'm gonna tell Saint Peter to open the gates. You get ready now.'
As the audience, what are your views of Gabriel?
Quick Analysis of August Wilson's Ending
"Open as wide as God's closet", infers that Troy had just enough space to fit through and to make it into heaven.
"That's the way that go!",infers a good ending
Gabriel as a "wise fool"
Very knowledgeable about the lives of others.
A divine being, who is helping or warning Troy with his fate
Sane, just misunderstood because our everyone else's lack of knowledge

However,
What if Troy didn't go to Heaven?
An Alternate Ending
As the stage darkens, Gabriel emerges in the center of the stage. He stares absently into the audience and looks at the bright beaming light gleaming upon him. He whimpers in disbelief, and stutters as the “frightful realization” overcomes him, “But…But…I saw his name… St. Peter… Wake up! It’s time for judgment…Open the gates! Troy… Troy’s waiting!” Eyes pleading to the sky, Gabriel attempts to dance, tears streaming down his face “...please…” Rose comes from the side of the stage and pulls Gabriel in, “Gabe, C’mon, Gabe… its time… lets go” Rose stares into the empty, motionless sky, "People in this world decide their own fate". Cory holds Raynell close, as he shakes his head whispering "Poor Uncle Gabe" Lyons sighs "he done about lost it"
No longer the "wise fool"
Gabriel's biblical references would have been seen as all nonsense
Wise fool ---> Delusional War Veteran
Gabriel would be pitied
His role would go from him being a fore teller and warning, to mainly becoming Troy's monthly income and burden.
Thank You
Conclusion
Gabriel's depiction and understanding of his character is largely dependent on the ending of the play. Like in this presentation if you were to take away all the hints August Wilson gives the audience to infer that Troy goes to heaven, Gabriel's character goes from one of the most knowledgeable characters to the least.
In the Context of Fences
Main role of the Archangel Gabriel,in the play "Fences"is to awake St. Peter when it is time for judgement, specifically Troy's judgment.
(Gabriel, with great fanfare, braces himself to blow. The trumpet is without a mouth piece. He puts the end of it into his mouth and blows with great force, like a man who has been waiting some twenty-odd years for this single moment.No sound comes out of this trumpet. He braces himself and blows again with the same result. A third time he blows. There is a weight of impossible description that falls away and leaves him bare and exposed to a frightful realization...
He begins to dance. A slow, strange dance, eerie and life giving...Lyons attempts to embrace him. Gabriel pushes him away. He begins to howl in what is an attempt of a song, or perhaps a song turning back into a speech. He finishes his dace and the gates of heaven stand open as wide as God's closet.
Gabriel: That's the way that go!
Full transcript