The Piano Lesson
by August Wilson
The Piano Lesson Women and Femininity 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: "You always talking about your daddy but you ain't never stopped to look at what his foolishness cost your mama. Seventeen years' worth of cold nights and an empty bed." (1.2.162)
Berniece is the one strong feminine voice in the play. She's the character that reminds us that there's a whole other perspective to the family's past. While the men were all busy trying make their mark, the women were left to pick up the pieces.
Avery: "I need a woman that fits in my hand." (2.2.13)
We wonder what exactly Avery means when he says this to Berniece. It could be interpreted as being kind of sexist. If a woman fits in his hand, doesn't that imply that he's in total control over her? Of course, he could mean that he wants to protect Berniece.
Avery: "You too young a woman to close up, Berniece." (2.2.15)
Here's another possibly sexist remark. Avery could by implying that Berniece shouldn't "close up" in a sexual sense, which isn't a particularly nice thing to say. Then again, maybe, he means "close up" in an emotional sense. What do you think?