Quotes From The Piano Lesson

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In this novel, The Piano Lesson, we learn that some characters are doing their best to leave their mark on the world. A main character, Boy Willie, continually attempts to do so. For instance, he says, “I got to mark my passing on the road. Just like you write on a tree, ‘Boy Willie was here.’” By this, he means that he wants to make sure the world knows that he was here, and that he left something behind. Just as his grandfather carved beautiful, intricate designs into the piano and left it for his family, Boy Willie wants to do something similar. For example, he wants to buy Sutter’s land and make it nice for generations to come. Ironically, Boy Willie wants to sell his grandfather’s statement in order to make his own. Accordingly, this…show more content…
According to the text, “Boy Willie is thirty years old. He has an infectious grin and a boyishness that is apt for his name. He is brash and impulsive, talkative and somewhat crude in speech and manner”. This was shown when he argues with his sister, Berniece, constantly. She had a great deal of sentimental value within that piano, but Boy Willie was very tenacious about selling it despite his sister’s wishes. He got himself into a quite a situation, and it isn’t until the very end that it was resolved. Sutter’s ghost begins to start attacking Boy Willie after he tries to take the piano out of the house. The ghost doesn’t subside until Berniece plays the piano and calls the spirits of their family to rid of Sutter’s ghost. After all, this symbolizes the true value of the piano and their ancestry. Surprisingly, this novel ends with Boy Willie and Lymon going back to Mississippi without selling the piano. Finally, Boy Willie closes by telling Berniece that if she doesn’t keep playing on the piano, he and Sutter would both be back. In saying this, Boy Willie means that if they don’t keep their inheritance close to their heart, unfavorable events could begin happening once
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