Water by the Spoonful


Quiara Alegría Hughes

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Yaz’s Piano Symbol Analysis

Yaz’s Piano Symbol Icon

Yaz’s Steinway grand piano is both a literal and physical representation of the life she has built for herself after leaving the barrio. It is the instrument she uses to express herself and compose her music, as well as an expensive, luxurious indulgence that represents just how successful she has become in her adulthood. Yaz’s decision to sell the piano in order to buy Mami Ginny’s house at the end of the play embodies the transformation of character that she undergoes, as she is willing to sacrifice the individual aspirations for which she worked so hard in order to become the new head of her family. The acquisition and requisition of this piano, then, come to signify Yaz’s transition from being ashamed of her Puerto Rican heritage to being proud of her identity and committed to her family and community.

Yaz’s Piano Quotes in Water by the Spoonful

The Water by the Spoonful quotes below all refer to the symbol of Yaz’s Piano. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Substance Addiction Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Theatre Communications Group edition of Water by the Spoonful published in 2017.
Scene Fifteen Quotes

YAZ: I’m the elder now. I stay home. I hold down the fort.

Related Characters: Yaz / Yazmin Ortiz (speaker), Elliot Ortiz, Mami Ginny
Related Symbols: Yaz’s Piano
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:
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Yaz’s Piano Symbol Timeline in Water by the Spoonful

The timeline below shows where the symbol Yaz’s Piano appears in Water by the Spoonful. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Scene Five
Family Theme Icon
Freedom, Identity, and Dissonance Theme Icon
Yaz feels guilty about this, since she has college degrees and a seventeen-thousand-dollar piano with a mortgage on it. While she was married to William, he would tell her... (full context)
Scene Fifteen
Family Theme Icon
Freedom, Identity, and Dissonance Theme Icon
...at how it could’ve sold so fast until Yaz reveals that she sold her Steinway piano and bought the house herself. She’s moving back to the barrio, renovating Ginny’s house, and... (full context)