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Journal 10 - Essay Example

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Boy Willie and sister Berniece had different sense of heritage and identity. Difference in perception between the two is evident from their continual…
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Journal 10
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Number] Journal Entry 10 August Wilson’s remarkable play “The Piano Lesson” entails the pain, suffering and loss of immigrants in a racist society. Boy Willie and sister Berniece had different sense of heritage and identity. Difference in perception between the two is evident from their continual argument on Piano’s trade or keeping. Boy Willie planned to sell melons and ancestral Piano to acquire Sutter’s land, where his ancestors and family was incarcerated. Through the purchase of land Boy Willie will be able to change his identity from slave to an owner. Simultaneously, through this purchase he deems to acquire his true heritage “the land which enslaved them will be in his possession”.
However, Berniece had her reasons for opposing this sale, as the piano is the only piece of heirloom, which they both inherited. Piano was close to her heart because her great grandparents engraved their history on it, they were traded for it and also their father died over it (74-75, Bogumil). She declines Willie’s idea to sell it because piano was a reminder of their ancestors and especially of their father. And selling it would mean they would be selling their identity and heritage; this time by them self.
Wilson weaved death and suffering with the piano and the siblings inherited both. Piano reminded them of their loss and deficient identity, but also was the only heirloom (though painful) left of the family. Boy Willie and Berniece’s great grandparents (slaves) engraved their history on it, but since it was not their property (Sutter’s) they were traded over it. Their father died after taking it from Sutter’s residence and piano was the last thing Berniece could relate to. However, she never played on it since it used to make her sad and Willie wanted to sell this heritage because it existed on the life (sacrifice) of his family and has been a reminder of slavery. Wilson has depicted music worth dying for and this is evident in the play.

I would like to hire Will Smith as Boy Willie and Halle Berry as Berniece because both actors can convincingly transform them self into the assigned characters and can do justice with their characters. If it’s a theatrical play I would like to transform the stage into 1930 era, when the transition (from slavery to a free nation) was taking place for African Americans. My characters will dress up according to the 1930’s dressing criteria and the Piano will be staged in the front corner so its existence can be noticed.
From time to time, I would like the piano to be played by the good ghosts of the ancestors, so to signify its importance for Berniece. I would like to hire Johnny Deep for the role of Sutter’s ghost as he can conveniently act in a supernatural drama. I would like the ghost to be present most of the time like looking down from a balcony to the two fighting and opposing siblings. He will be shown regaining his power through Willie and Berniece fights and eventually, Willie will try to take the piano out of the house for sale pushing it off the stage.
Johnny Deep (Suttter’s ghost) will come in front of the two ( after a strong gust of wind on the stage) and will fight through his powers with Willie. An exorcist will be shown on the stage, who will try to send away the demon, but he will be too powerful to be sent away. Eventually, he will try to kill Willie and right then Berniece will play the piano (to safe Willie) and all the good ancestors’ spirit will occupy the stage and fight the Sutter’s ghost away. The last scene can be of Willie’s acceptance of Berniece’s stance of keeping the piano. Halle Berry will be playing the piano merrily instead of contemplating it with pain of remorse memories.
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Bogumil, Mary L. Understanding August Wilson. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1999. Print.
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