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Should examine August Wilsons The Piano Lesson - Essay Example

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Should examine August Wilsons The Piano Lesson

This paper will discuss why Berniece, one of the main woman characters of the play, refused to sell the family piano. It will be shown below that she didn't support Boy Willie's idea because the piano was a real historical family relic for her, and she realized distinct connection with her past through the piano that was very important for her. I agree with Berniece, and the paper will show why. These and other themes are rather important for appropriate understanding of the play, and they will be discussed in this paper.
2. The main confrontation in the play took place between Boy Willie Charles and his sister Berniece Charles. Boy Willie wanted to sell the piano as he needed money to buy the land at the Mississippi river where their family worked as slaves: "Boy Willie is fixed on getting the money he needs by selling the family piano despite its irreplaceable value to the family, especially to Boy Willie's sister Berniece. Like two trains speeding to the same crossroad, Wilson creates dramatic tension between the material and spiritual worlds of Boy Willie and Berniece" (Alenier, 2005). The piano was antique and inherited, and in spite of Boy's request Berniece refused to sell it. There were some significant reasons why she didn't support Boy's idea. ...
The history of her family played more important role for her than the land which Boy wanted to buy. Berniece reminded Boy about Mama Ola who looked after the piano: "Money can't buy what that piano cost. You can't sell your soul for money . . . . Mama Ola polished this piano with her tears for seventeen years. She rubbed on it till her hands bled. Then she rubbed the blood in . . . mixed up with the rest of the blood on it" (Wilson, p.50-52). She considered that money couldn't replace her memory about the family. Berniece asserted Boy that her family's things can keep her memory about different moments from the history of the family whether good or not they were. Berniece valued family stories and legends, and the piano was a real embody of such stories which could go through centuries. With the piano she also associated some tragic events took place in the family: "After her father's death, Berniece was forced to learn and play the stolen piano for her grieving mother who said she could hear Boy Charles speak when Berniece played" (Alenier, 2005). The legs of the piano were carved with the faces of their slave ancestors, and these faces reminded Berniece about the time of slavery and numerous sufferings of their family, and she didn't want to lose these remembrances because of Boy's idea. Berniece felt that her ancestor's blood had been worked into the piano, so she refused to sell it. Berniece and Doaker (their uncle) moved to the city - so, they had a good notion of new customs and culture, but Berniece felt her emotional bond with the history of the family, and she didn't want to forget it. In contrary, Boy Willie wanted to buy the land ...Show more

Summary

1. The main theme of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson is a contradiction and connection between the past and the present, and the main characters' attempts to follow their own imagination and attitude to life and its values. Our past always influences and affects our present and even our future, and people should respect their past and its attributes as the symbols of their own history.
Author : fschuppe
Essay should examine August Wilsons The Piano Lesson essay example
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