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Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 3 months ago

On this page add any links, examples or information about how the character is developed throughout the film.





- self silenced/elective mute

- communicates emotions using piano (as a state of mind)

- using Flora in general conversation when needed

- uses notepad neckland to emphasize, direct points/messages. eg "the Piano?"

- communicated through eyes and touch i.e. to Stewart, Flora and Baines, to show intimacy.

- Language - uses hands and eyes

-mind/narrative voice


Ada developes from using Flora and her necklace as a means of communication to express

emotions through touch. This breaks her isolation. The piano, which she later disposes in

the sea is also a form of development. She no longer needs the Piano to communicate.

She has found life and love in Baines.



- Dressed very strictly, Victorian style, hair, dress etc, and rigidness

- maintains a perfect, neat appearance as she does her image. (choosing not to talk or use

isolation as self protection)

- underskirt

- a form of cage that she wears - physical barrier.

- stops her from advancing, or restrains her physically.

- a physical symbol of isolation and entrapment - image of bars.

-dark colours, tight layers which restrict movement

-Prevent Baines fromconnecting (at first)



- violent, childlike and physical


e.g. when she finds out she has to give her piano away, she reacts violently. She doesn't

want to compromise her piano for the interests of Stewart - land. this is ironic when Ada

expresses her emotions in a physically violent way when Baines returns the piano.


e.g.2 after she has sex with Baines, Ada expresses happiness and acts as though she

has broken/released from her cage by playing childishly with Flora. She laughs, smiles and

the yellow filter emphasises this for her.


- Sex - opening up emotion and connecting. Feeling and showing love.



- Flora and Ada - mother-daughter relationship, friendship,

- acts as her other half and her voice

- an obliged relationship

- Ada and Baines - Lust!

- Love

- Bargain/deal/"the arrangement", the piano "lessons"

- communication

- Ada and Stewart - Abstainance

- Dominance

- Arrangement/marriage

- Flora and Stewart





Analysis of Critical Article

Maori-Pakeha Relations


-As Ada develops her identity, she can be seen as a metaphor for the changing identity/emerging

nationalism of New Zealand. The article is questioning to what extent this is so. Ada conforms to

the stereotypical role of the colonial attitude to the Maori. "She in fact submits to the roles suggested

for colonial women during this period, thus eliminating the commonly held opinions that the Piano is

a feminist text". She can also be seen as representative of larger national concerns over racial relations

at the time.


 -Ada does not adapt, as does Baines to the cultural requirements of the new country. She willingly

chooses to displace herself by refusing to make contact with the Maori. Her only interaction with the

Maori is through Stewart and Baines. This emphasises Ada's role as the "ideal figure of white colonial



 -Baines, however bridges the nature/cultural divide. Baines has affection for the Maori, but within

"imperialistic restrictions" the Maori women cook for him-this could focus on the colonial idea of

Maori women being house 'slaves'.


 -Baines understanding of Maori seems to go ONE WAY-he receives but does not give, showing that

he is still a colonialist deep down.


 -Others think Baines has an earthly connection to the land and the Maori. However Davinia Thornley

(author of the article) thinks he holds an imperialistic position.


 -"Part of this inability to recognise the colonising undertones of Baines' character, and Ada's blatant

ignorance of the Maori" and the land within the script, may have to do with the fact that Campion is



 -Thornley believes that Campion struggles with her place in New Zealand, and that she feels like she

had neither a European nor a New Zealand heritage, as her ancestors were colonialists.


 -Thornley also believes that Campion tried (in the Piano) for "cross-cultural collaboration", but her

position as a "PRIVELAGED WHITE WOMAN" meant that she was automatically more comfortable

focussing on Ada's and her lovers' stories. Although Ada expands her sexual horizons she does not build

on her cultural horizons.

Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 7:38 pm on Apr 17, 2008

Good work Shani!

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