The Piano & Misconceptions of Women and Deaf/Mute Culture
The Piano hits on some very interesting points when it comes down to the analytical portions of the film, it causes questions to arise about women, views of women, the reaction of women in that day and age and other interesting areas of discussion. The Piano also brings out common misconceptions about Deaf/Mute Culture...
Throughout the movie, Ada is seen signing to her daughter, a language that only the two have come to master. Though it does not resemble present day American Sign Language, viewers can definitely see the relevance of hand motions to phrases and questions that Ada poses, using her daughter as a type of interpreter for any kind of communication outside of her piano and tiny handwritten notes.
The issue that continually rises throughout this film is the misconception that Ada is Deaf, simply because she does not speak. However, Ada responds to language though glances and body language as would any other member of the hearing community, though characters of this story choose not to acknowledge that. As the film progresses, the audience is given good context of where the Deaf community is at this point in time--still fighting the battle that Deaf & Dumb are not one in the same; it is a battle that many members of the Deaf community are still facing today.
I believe that this is an extremely important branch to consider when looking through the 'feminist lens,' just as women of color are on the fringe of society, so are women of different physical capabilities--possibly moreso based on what they are deemed they 'can' and 'cannot' accomplish. Just like black, asian and chicano feminists, Deaf/Mute and Hard of Hearing feminists have just as much right to be heard, if not more.