The Piano Lesson
by August Wilson
The Piano Lesson Spirituality 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)
Berniece's spirituality succeeds where Avery's fails. While his prayers to the Christian God don't succeed in getting rid of Sutter's ghost, Berniece's appeal to her ancestors does. Is the play saying that African Americans should look to their ancient African religions instead of Christianity, which was taught to them by their white slave masters? Or could you see the spirits that Berniece raises as being part of the Christian God? There are many different ways to interpret this moment. What do you think?