What are some literary devices used in Fences?

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Gabriel's trumpet is another important symbol in the play. After Troy's death, his disabled brother Gabe blows into his instrument with all his might in order to open the gates of Heaven. Gabe's sure that it's time for St. Peter to open those pearly gates and let his brother walk right through them. Despite waiting for this moment for over twenty years, however, Gabe is unable to coax a single sound out of his trumpet. It's only after Gabe indulges in a strange ritual dance that Heaven finally opens its gates to Troy.

This scene has been interpreted in all kinds of different ways, some of them more plausible than others. Some critics have argued that Gabriel's trumpet is a symbol of the Christianity which was never originally a part of African culture but was largely imposed on indigenous people by white colonialists. That would account for why Gabe is unable to make a sound with his trumpet; it's a symbol of a religion that does not have deep roots among the African people. It is only...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on April 13, 2020