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.
Boy Willie: "All [Lymon] want to talk about is women. […] Talking about all the women he gonna get when he get up here." (1.1.94)
Lymon definitely does spend a lot of time focusing on women over the course of the play. At first, it seems like he views them only as objects or as things to conquer. Later, however it seems like he's really seeking true companionship.
Doaker: "I ain't thinking about them women. […] All them women want is somebody with a steady payday." (1.1.179)
It seems like Doaker is done with women altogether. Comments like the one above makes it seem like he's got a pretty bad opinion of females in general. He seems to think that they're all gold-diggers. Poor Doaker. We wonder who hurt him so bad, that he now has such an unfair and jaded perception of women.
Berniece: "Mama Ola polished this piano with her tears for seventeen years. For seventeen years she rubbed on it till her hands bled. Then she rubbed the blood in…mixed it with the rest of the blood on it." (1.2.162)
It seems like the role of women in the Charles family often ends up being that of the mourning widow. Notice how Berniece is in much the same position that her mother was. She is mourning a husband who was violently killed. Also, she has her daughter play on the piano, though she herself won't play anymore.