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Doaker is Berniece and Boy Willie's uncle and the owner of the household in which the play takes place. He is a "tall, thin man of forty-seven years, with severe features, who has retired from the world." Doaker has spent his life working on the railroad, representing one of the play's more explicitly historical portraits of 1930s Black experience. Within the plot, Doaker attempts to remain neutral with regards to the conflict over the piano, washing his hands of the piano in his guilt over his brother's death. He also functions as the play's testifier, recounting the piano's history. Like Wining Boy, the other member of the family's oldest living generation, he offers a connection to the family's past through his stories.
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Piano Lesson!