But that piano don't put out nothing else. This is the crux of Boy Willie's argument for selling the piano. Land is the ultimate freedom. Owning land makes a black man the equal of the white man. When people put their blood, sweat, and tears into the land, it gives back food, security, and status.
Piano Man (song)
The piano gives back nothing; all it can give back is the money someone will pay for it. All this thieving and killing More killing and more thieving. Berniece looks back at her family history and the history of her people in Sunflower County and sees a series of crimes that only hurt everyone involved.
Her father stole the piano from Sutter's house and got killed for doing it. Now the so-called Ghosts of the Yellow Dog are continuing the killing. Boy Willie and Lymon stole some wood from a white man so they could sell it and make some money. As a result, Berniece's husband was shot dead by the sheriff. It's time, she thinks, to break the cycle of vengeance. Everybody got stones in their passway. You ain't got to carry them with you. Avery followed Berniece to Pittsburgh when she moved North after her husband's death. Crawley has been dead three years, and Avery believes Berniece needs to let go and move on with her life—and marry Avery.
Berniece tells Avery she has other things to worry about, especially the pain and memories associated with the piano—her father's death, the destruction of her family by Robert Sutter in the days of slavery, and the way playing the piano brings back these ghosts. Avery tells her everyone faces hardships, but they shouldn't carry the burden around with them. In the end Berniece does not follow Avery's advice.
Piano Man (song) - Wikipedia
She faces up to the painful personal and family memories and accepts them as a part of what she is. They gonna try and make me work for Stovall when he don't pay nothing. This was the final straw that made Lymon decide to come North. He was arrested for not working. A white man paid his fine, and the sheriff told Lymon to work for the white man for free till he'd repaid the money. Doing his time instead wasn't permitted. I get Lymon's goal in life is unlike that of anyone in the Charles family.
His desires are simple and traditional—to find a job and a place to live and to get married and have children.
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Lymon's simple, private goals contrast sharply with the more layered intentions of his friend Boy Willie, who wants to buy his own farm in order to prove himself the equal of any white man and leave his mark on society. This is my house. I ain't gonna let Doaker seldom throws his weight around. His temperament is generally placid. But when Boy Willie insists on taking the piano away to sell it, Doaker takes a stand. The piano is jointly owned, and Doaker is a fair man.
He may not like having the piano there, but Berniece is a half owner, and Doaker stands up for her rights. Moments later he is equally adamant he is not going to throw Boy Willie out of the house. He wants Berniece and her brother to agree on what will be done with the piano. It is likely he hopes in coming to that decision, they will reconcile. Some people get scared to hear a nigger's heart beating. In explaining again why he wants to sell the piano, Boy Willie makes one of the most memorable speeches of the play. People—including his sister—want him to stop fighting, to stop making noise.
But he isn't going to stop because his heart "beats just as loud as the next fellow's" and sometimes even louder. This frightens people, he says, and not just white people. He accuses Berniece of being frightened by it, too.
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He says she thinks African Americans should keep their heads down and just go along with the status quo. Boy Willie strongly disagrees. You need to bless that piano. It ain't done nothing but cause trouble. Avery has come at Berniece's request to bless the Charles house in an attempt to exorcise Sutter's ghost. Doaker, whose history with the piano is much longer than that of his niece and nephew, feels Avery should focus on the piano; that's the ghost's focus and the source of the family's troubles for generations.
But in the end, the piano turns out to be the sacred object that allows Berniece to call on the Charles ancestors for help in ridding the family of Sutter's ghost. Have study documents to share about The Piano Lesson? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access! Download a PDF to print or study offline. Download Study Guide.
In text Course Hero. Throughout her journey, Christine has had many connections and experiences with Aboriginal culture and Spirituality. She has learnt much from Indigenous Elders throughout Australia, and had the privilege of working with an indigenous elder from Uluru for many years, learning and remembering the special connection with the land. She now shares her understanding and knowledge of Kanyini with all that come in contact with her.
Her sounds and music connect you with the land and aboriginal spirituality deep within your Soul. It includes Sound, Colour and Aboriginal Wisdom. Christine believes that it is time for many of us to return to working with sound.
Time for us to reconnect with our soul, to unlock our talents and gifts and gain insights at deep levels. This course provides a gentle but powerful healing journey of the Soul through Sound, Colour and Music. Christine has reached and helped many people become empowered through her music and courses.
She travels internationally for courses, individual sessions and concerts.
Christine has a Bachelor of Education, and A. A piano and currently resides in Perth, Western Australia. Every note feels as if it has been touched by the wings and the breath of Angels. Her music touched places I didn't even know exist.