The Piano Lesson
Important Quotations Explained
Gin my cotton Sell my seed Buy my baby Everything she need
That's when I discovered the power of death. See, a nigger that ain't afraid to die is the worse kind of nigger for the whiteman. He can't hold that power over you. That's what I learned when I killed the cat. I got the power of death too. I can command him. I can call him up. The white man don't like to see that. He don't like for you to stand up and look him square in the eye and say, "I got it too." Then he got to deal with you square up.
BOY WILLIE: Hey Berniece if you and Maretha don't keep playing on that piano ain't no telling me and Sutter both liable to be back. (He exits.)
BERNIECE: Thank you.
When my mama died I shut the top on that piano and I ain't never opened it since. I was only playing it for her. When my daddy died seem like all her life went into that piano. She used to have my playing on it (...) had Miss Eula come in and teach me (...) say when I played it she could hear my daddy talking to her. I used to think them pictures came alive and walked through the house. Sometime late at night I could hear my mama talking to them. I said that wasn't gonna happen to me. I don't play that piano cause I don't want to wake them spirits.
When Miss Ophelia seen it (...) she got excited. Now she had her piano and her niggers too Boy Charles used to talk about that piano all the time. He never could get it off his mind. Two or three months go by and he be talking about it again. He be talking about taking it out of Sutter's house. Say it was the story of our whole family and as long as Sutter had it he had us. Say we was still in slavery.
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