Fences

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Gabriel Maxson Character Analysis

Troy’s brother, Gabriel is the victim of a brain-injury he received at war. As a result of the injury, Gabe’s gone insane and lives trapped in the psychotic belief that he is St. Gabriel. He therefore sings songs warning about judgment day, and frequently mentions that he’s working to chase hellhounds (sinning demons) away; he even tells Troy that he’s personally seen his name in St. Peter’s book of judgment. While Gabe insists that he’s in regular association with renowned religious figures, he also considers himself to no longer be human, and to have died and been spiritually reborn into his sainthood. In this chronic preoccupation with his own immortality and spiritual destiny, Gabe is yet another avenue through which the play’s portrayal of mortality finds a voice. Gabe’s obsession with the final day of judgment resonates with the eventual death of Troy, whom Gabe subtly foreshadows through his preoccupation with the end of the world.
Get the entire Fences LitChart as a printable PDF.
Fences.pdf.medium

Gabriel Maxson Character Timeline in Fences

The timeline below shows where the character Gabriel Maxson appears in Fences. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1: Scene 2
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
...working a “lick of work” in his life. As Troy and Rose bicker, Troy’s brother, Gabriel, comes by. Wilson writes a note in the script describing Gabriel: he’s seven years younger... (full context)
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Mortality Theme Icon
Gabriel enters the scene singing a song about plums he has for sale. Not seeing any... (full context)
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Rose re-enters the yard from the house, and implies to Troy that Gabriel should go back to the hospital. But Troy thinks it would be cruel to lock... (full context)
Act 1: Scene 4
Mortality Theme Icon
Gabriel then comes by, singing his usual song about preparing for Judgment Day. He gives Rose... (full context)
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
As Lyons goes to leave, Gabe says Troy is mad at him, and Lyons asks Troy why. Rose explains that, because... (full context)
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
After Troy and Rose bicker about why Gabe left to live on his own, Rose tells Troy that she wants him to sign... (full context)
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Gabriel re-enters the yard with a sandwich Rose made him, and Troy says that he doesn’t... (full context)
Act 2: Scene 1
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...he returns, explaining that he had to go to the police station to check on Gabe, who was arrested for disturbing the peace. Troy returns, with Bono, and says that he... (full context)
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Rose then enters the yard from the house, and asks Troy why the police arrested Gabe, and what’s going to happen to him. Troy tells her he was arrested for disturbing... (full context)
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...going to be a father. Shocked, Rose cannot believe that Troy is telling her this, and—suddenly—Gabe enters the scene, with a rose in his hand. He offers Rose the flower, and... (full context)
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Rose tells Gabe to go inside and get a piece of watermelon, and after he leaves, Rose begins... (full context)
Act 2: Scene 2
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...it looks like she’s going to have the baby early. Rose then tells him that Gabe has been institutionalized—locked up in a psychiatric ward—and that she read in the newspaper that... (full context)
Act 2: Scene 4
Blackness and Race Relations Theme Icon
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...but Cory corrects him, saying that it’s not really his father’s yard, since Troy stole Gabe’s money to pay for it. Even more infuriated, Troy advances on Cory, telling him to... (full context)
Act 2: Scene 5
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...Rose says she’s very glad that Cory made it to the funeral, and adds that Gabe is still in the hospital, and she’s not sure if he’s going to be allowed... (full context)
Practicality, Idealism, and Race Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Mortality Theme Icon
Gabriel then enters the scene, and Rose, Cory, and Lyons are delighted to see him. Gabriel... (full context)