The Piano Lesson
by August Wilson
The Piano Lesson Memory and the Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.
Berniece: (Singing.) "I want you to help me/I want you to help me/Mama Berniece/I want you to help me/Mama Esther/I want you to help me/Papa Boy Charles/I want you to help me/Mama Ola/I want you to help me" (2.5.203)
You'll find this quote at the end of every one of our theme sections. We did this to show how August Wilson brilliantly touches on all of his major themes when Berniece climactically plays the piano at last. This moment ties into "Memory and the Past" because Berniece has finally found the strength to face the memories from which she's been running. She's only able to banish Sutter's ghost after she stops trying to ignore her past and instead embraces it.