The husband of Rose, and father to Cory and Lyons, Troy is the central character of Fences. Shaped by the effects racism has had on his life—by the struggles it created in… (read full character analysis)
The son of Troy and Rose, Cory embodies a hope for the future unmet by the pessimism of his father. When Cory seeks love and compassion in his relationship with Troy, it’s met with… (read full character analysis)
Wife to Troy and mother of Cory, Rose represents the maternal gentleness of the Maxson household. In opposition to Troy’s toughness and disrespect for Cory’s feelings and opinions, Rose is a source of love… (read full character analysis)
The son to Troy and his former, unnamed wife (prior to Rose), Lyons strives, against the wishes of his father, to be a professional musician. While Lyons claims to be fundamentally dedicated to music—while… (read full character analysis)
Troy’s best friend, Bono is the follower in their relationship, evidenced by his admission to Troy when confronting him about his affair with Alberta. Ever since Bono observed Troy’s decision to take Rose’s hand… (read full character analysis)
The child of Troy and Alberta, Raynell is ultimately raised by Rose after both Troy and Alberta die. In this way, Raynell challenges the “fences” that Rose envisions as surrounding, protecting, and holding together… (read full character analysis)
Alberta is the woman with whom Troy has an affair. At the beginning of the play, Troy and Bono talk crudely about her attractive physique, and Bono questions Troy about his involvement with her throughout… (read full character analysis)
Wife to Bono, Lucille barely appears in the play. Bono always cites her as the reason why he must go home—why he must depart from the Maxson household when he visits. In this way, Lucille reveals Bono’s marital devotion, in direct contrast to Troy’s adultery.
Mr. Stawicki is Cory’s boss at the A&P store.
Coach Zellman is Cory’s football coach in high school—it’s due to Zellman that Cory catches the eye of a college recruiter, but Troy ultimately tells Zellman to ban Cory from the team.
Bonnie is Lyons’s girlfriend early-on in the play; we learn in the end, however, that he’s left her and found another partner.
Ms. Pearl owns the apartment Gabe moves into after he decides to leave the Maxson household in order to, as he says, get out of Troy’s hair.