Fences

Fences Act 2: Scene 3 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next scene occurs three days later, in the evening. Rose is inside the house, listening to the ball game, awaiting Troy. When Troy enters the yard, he’s carrying his newborn child (Raynell), and calls to Rose. She enters from the house, and stands on the porch. Egging her on to help him raise his child, Troy tells Rose that his daughter is motherless and doesn’t know anything about “grownups’ business,” meaning his own affair with Alberta. But Rose rejects him, and asks, “What you telling me for, Troy?” She then re-enters the house.
It seems that Troy really will stop at no end, and will—despite having basically ignored Rose for the past six months in favor of Alberta—nonetheless ask her to mother his and Alberta’s daughter. It seems that Rose has reached her limit, that she’s given up on Troy entirely, and her refusal to give in to Troy’s pleas seems like a powerful desertion of him.
Themes
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Troy then sits down on the porch with his infant daughter (Raynell), and says that he isn’t sorry for anything he’s done, since it felt right in his heart. He asks Raynell why she’s smiling, saying that he’s scared since they don’t have a home at the moment. Rose then enters from the house again, and Troy begs her to help him take care of Raynell. Rose agrees to help, since Raynell is innocent, and tells him “you can’t visit the sins of the father upon the child.” She then adds: “From right now . . . this child got a mother. But you a womanless man.”
Rose’s kindness and empathy ultimately lead her to give in to Troy’s plea—but she qualifies her willingness to take care of Raynell as having nothing to do with her love for Troy. Rose feels bad for Raynell, who she knows is innocent, but she does not show any sympathy for Troy. Ultimately, she does desert Troy.
Themes
Manhood and Fathers Theme Icon
Family, Duty, and Betrayal Theme Icon