Boy Charles’ widow grieved for seventeen years while young Berniece watched. She won’t marry Avery because she doesn’t want her destiny to be defined by a man again, and be hurt like she was when Crawley was killed. you gonna play around with me one too many times. The slaveowner acquired the piano in a trade—he traded Berniece and Boy Willie’s great-grandmother and their grandfather for it. You can just walk out of here without me—without a woman—and still be a man. Berniece refuses to play the piano because she’s afraid to wake the spirits of her ancestors. When the ghost finally menaces him, Boy Willie challenges it without fear or guilt which proves his innocence in Sutter’s murder. “I got these big old hands but what I’m gonna do with them? Lymon uses his money from the watermelons to buy a “magic” suit from Wining Boy, and sets out to find himself a woman with whom he can settle down. . Analysis: The Piano Lesson by August Wilson 1745 Words | 7 Pages. The composition opposes the sensual, suggested by the sculpture in the left foreground, to discipline and order, implied by the geometric image of a woman in the upper right. By clinging to the piano, Berniece clings to the family's tragic history of removal from Africa and enslavement in America; by refusing to play it, she refuses to claim that history as her own. . He must sell the watermelons he brought up from Mississippi, and the piano, to make up the difference. - train a camera to analyse which key is being pressed instead of analyzing the audio. . The Piano Lesson Synopsis . Boy Willie stayed in Mississippi. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. Berniece’s constant dwelling upon her circumstances undermines her desire to improve her life. Lymon’s motivated to move up North, find himself a job, and a wife. Desperate for a farm of his own, Boy Willie comes up with a way to get the cash to buy Sutter’s land. The objective characters cause problems when they act on their desire to change their situations. .] [. (Wilson, p. 86-87). She must also quit using the piano as an excuse for her fear and bitterness, and take steps to bury the past and get on with her life. if you say to me . Just like you write on a tree, “Boy Willie was here.”  (Wilson, p. 94). Berniece refuses to accept Boy Willie’s evidence of what happened the night her husband was killed, and physically attacks him. He achieved this by killing … The thirty-year-old Boy Willie introduces the central conflict of the play. . Berniece’s approach to solving problems is to take action:  After her husband died, she moved to Pittsburgh with her daughter, and got a job to support them both. She remembers her widowed mother’s loneliness: With the recent death of John Sutter, the last descendant of the Charles’ family owner, Boy Willie has a chance buy land of his own. He asks Berniece to sell the piano to finance his church; asks her to marry him so that he’ll look respectable to his congregation; applies for a bank loan to buy property for his church; urges Berniece to play the piano in the church choir. The main conflict in the play is between the main characters Bernice and her brother Boy Willie. (Wilson, p. 70). . He traded Boy Willie’s great-grandmother and his grandfather, who was nine at the time, leaving their great-grandfather behind. It is believed to show the jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams, who grew up in Pittsburgh, sitting for a piano lesson. He and his friend, Lymon, have loaded a truck with watermelons which they intend to sell in Pittsburgh. Cause that land give back to you. Literary Analysis - The Piano lesson In her/his review of The Piano Lesson by August Wilson, Alicia Lowry contends that Bernice's emotional attachment to the piano is causing her family to stay stuck in the past. She realizes that she must call on the spirits of her mother, father, and grandparents. Avery Brown, a farmer turned preacher, followed Berniece to Pittsburgh and proposed to her. Her early films, in particular An Angel at My Table (1987) and Sweetie (1989), brought ampion [s unusual and darkly humorous films to the attention of an art-house audience. The objective characters must stop acting on impulse if they’re going to get what they want in life:  Boy Willie must control the impulse to try to force his will upon others; Berniece needs to restrain the impulse to blame everyone for her current state of misery before she can remarry and get on with her life; Lymon has to quit chasing the first woman he meets, and think before he acts, or he’ll end up trapped with the wrong wife. Avery’s decision to exorcise Sutter’s ghost causes a struggle against good and evil which forces Berniece to act to save her brother. The piano in the play is a symbol of the past and the future of the Charles family. Berniece imagines scaring Boy Willie off by going upstairs and getting her husband’s gun, then putting it in her dress pocket to have it handy for threatening. (Wilson, p. 27) Boy Willie suggests that if Berniece and Maretha don’t play the piano both him and Sutter’s ghost may be back. She beats him as she demands to know why her husband isn’t with her. BOY WILLIE CHARLES is thirty years old. Driven by her love for her brother, Berniece uses the piano to save him from the ghost. Interdiction slows the subjective story:  Boy Willie’s blind determination to sell the piano for money to buy land that will alter his future, prevents him from understanding that the piano is the embodiment of his family’s heritage and pride. Boy Willie believes Berniece’s reasons to keep the piano are insignificant compared to his need to overcome the disadvantages forced upon him. I look at you and you’re all the same. (Wilson, p. 10) The lack evidence accelerates the conflict between Boy Willie and Berniece. On the way to achieve his goal, Boy Willie comes to understand that he doesn’t have to own land to have dignity, pride, and proof of achievement, the piano represents that for every member of the Charles family. They never be walking around in this house. I got a little older I know what he was thinking. In the first stanza, a woman sings to the lyrical voice. . . Sell them watermelons. Lymon, afraid of being put back in a work farm for no good reason, comes up North hoping to get a fresh start in life. Berniece resolves her personal problems:  She overcomes her fear of releasing the spirits of her ancestors when she plays the piano to vanquish the ghost. BERNIECE:  When my daddy died seem like all her life went into that piano. Wining Boy is unhappy with his past life as a piano player because people only wanted to know him for his music. Boy Willie’s faulty interpretation of why Berniece’s not using the piano causes more problems between them, and leads to him being attacked by Sutter’s ghost. He promised to produce the cash in two weeks, but his savings fall short. Ada ambivalently agrees as she is attracted to Baines. . .] After Boy Willie is saved by Berniece when she summons their ancestor’s spirits from the piano, he realizes that it belongs in the family. He wants to buy land in Mississippi where his family was once enslaved. To get even with somebody? She holds a MA degree in Severe Special Needs from Simmons College. You can’t do nothing with that piano sitting up here in the house. He explains that they all make sacrifices and she must learn to, as well. the weather, and anything else you want to talk. Berniece uses the piano to exorcise the ghost and save her brother. Although conditioned to resent and fear the piano, Berniece acts out of pure instinct when it comes to saving her brother from Sutter’s evil ghost. MATISSE AND MEMORY. He returns to Mississippi to make his way without proceeds from the piano. Berniece prepares herself a bath so she can relax after a hard day’s work. But the title also reflects the main conflict in the play, which centers around a piano a brother and sister have inherited from their mother. The Piano Lesson 1916 Museum of Modern Art. She tells Avery:  The Piano Lesson depicts the living room of Matisse's home in Issy-les-Moulineaux, with his elder son, Pierre, at the piano, the artist's sculpture Decorative Figure (1908), at bottom left, and, at upper right, his painting Woman on a High Stool. (Wilson, p.50). Boy Willie plays at being a Don Juan when he attempts to seduce a woman on Berniece’s living room sofa. Berniece efforts are directed by what she believes to be true. The play takes place in the kitchen and parlor of Doaker Charles ’s house. Lymon wants to end the cycle of being put in a forced labor farm, and leaves Mississippi for good. . . you’re all alike. Crawley’s dead and in the ground and you still walking around here eating. Put them two parts with the part I done saved. A thematic issue that affects Berniece and Boy Willie is “suspicion.”  “She greets her brother’s arrival with suspicion, accuses him and his friend, Lymon, of stealing the truck in which they drove north, and ungraciously tells them to be on their way quickly. When Doaker and Berniece moved north, Boy Willie remained a sharecropper in Mississippi like his father. In the time of slavery Robert Sutter owned the Charles family. Accessoires, Sacs, Tissus Avery’s efforts to have a church of his own leads him to urge Berniece to play her piano during services and marry him. Boy Willie’s drive to change his station in life causes problems between him and Berniece. Boy Willie thinks the piano is valuable only because it can be sold to secure his future. Avery wants Berniece to let go of the past by marrying him and playing the piano at church services. Avery endures his job as an elevator operator, one of the best jobs a black man can get, while he tries to establish himself as the head of a church. . Three years ago Berniece lost her own husband when he was shot while collecting wood with Boy Willie. But Berniece’s need for love and companionship from her husband drives her to continue her attack in spite of Doaker’s efforts to pull her off her brother. It stands for a family accepting and owning their past and leveraging their combined strength to beat the odds. It all begins when Boy Willie and Lymon arrive in Pittsburgh from Mississippi with a truckload of watermelons. WINING BOY:  You look up one day and you hate the whiskey, and you hate the women, and you hate the piano. Characters. I knew you was up to something. Then I’m gonna carry that piano out of here. I said that wasn’t gonna happen to me. Specialist for the Spencer/East Brookfield School District, as a Graduate Research Assistant and Advanced Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Teacher at the New England Center for Children, and as the ABA Coordinator at Webster Middle School. “The Piano Lesson focuses on a struggle between brother, Boy Willie, and sister, Berniece, over whether to sell an heirloom piano. Doaker manages the Charles’ household while Berniece works as a maid and raises her daughter without a husband; Lymon is on the run from authorities in Mississippi as he helps Boy Willie sell watermelons in Pittsburgh; Avery tries to get a bank loan to start a church and convince Berniece to marry him; Maretha practices lessons on the piano and attends two schools so that she can be a teacher one day. Look at this piano. . . 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