August Wilsons The Piano Lesson - Essay Example

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In this essay, the author will discuss why Berniece, one of the main woman characters of the play, refused to sell the family piano. Also, the author will describe these and other themes are rather important for the appropriate understanding of the play…
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August Wilsons The Piano Lesson
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Download file to see previous pages The main confrontation in the play took the ace 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. First of all, this piano recalled her about her past, and the piano was a valuable heritage of their family. Berniece had a clear notion that the piano was much more important and valuable than the land which Boy was going to buy: ethical and mental values were more significant for her than material ones. The history of her family played a 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). ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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