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The Piano Lesson by August Wilson

The play The Piano Lesson takes a firm feminist stance, as Berneice argues with her brother Boy Willie, who believes that selling the piano will get them to the land of Sutter, where his ancestors were slaves. They clash largely because they have opposing viewpoints on the piano. Boy Willie thinks that selling the piano would gain him the ownership of land which includes both pleasing his ancestors and also achieving a good life materialistically whereas Berneice is of the opinion that the piano has carvings that represented her ancestors and, at the same time, it has the brooding memories of the slavery that her ancestors had gone through. She, of course, does not want it away from her.

In my opinion, Berniece has better argument as the piano is the last piece of memory of her grandparents and great grandparents. She does not only see it as an instrument made of wood but as something that carries souls within. On the other hand, her brother wants to acquire the land for financial gains. According to me, Berniece’s emotions must be kept above Boy Willie’s aspiration of a good life as good life could be achieved with hard work but the piano, once sold, would not come back.

September 11, 2021

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