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The Piano Lesson

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.

Quote #7

Berniece: "I got a lot of woman left in me."
Avery: "Where's it at? When's the last time you looked at it?" (2.2.16-2.2.17)

Berniece gets really offended when Avery says this, but what are they actually talking about? Once again it seems that could be talking about the fact that Berniece is closed off sexually, or perhaps emotionally. Whatever it is, Avery's comment does nothing to impress Berniece. This is probably the worst proposal ever.

Quote #8

Berniece: "Everybody gonna be worried about Berniece. 'How Berniece gonna take care of herself? How she gonna raise that child without a man?' […] Everybody got questions for Berniece." (2.2.22)

Today, single mothers are a lot more common than they were during the 1930s. Berniece's refusal to get remarried and insistence on raising Maretha on her own would definitely have freaked people out. It was much rarer back then.

Quote #9

Berniece: "Everybody telling me I can't be a woman unless I got a man." (2.2.22)

It's likely that many modern audience members sympathize with Berniece here. If she doesn't want to get married, she shouldn't have to. Women don't have to be married to be complete.

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