The Piano Lesson
by August Wilson
The Piano Lesson Act 2, Scene 1 Summary
- Lights rise on the kitchen the following morning.
- Doaker is singing a song about trains and ironing his uniform.
- Wining Boy enters, carrying a silk suit of clothes.
- Evidently, he was just trying to sell them at a pawn shop, but they said the suit was too old. They were only going to give him three dollars for it, but Wining Boy says it's worth at least five.
- They talk about how Maretha is scared to sleep upstairs since she saw Sutter's ghost.
- Doaker admits that he saw Sutter's ghost three weeks ago, but didn't say anything about it because he didn't want to upset Berniece.
- Wining Boy asks if Sutter called Boy Willie's name.
- No, says Doaker. The ghost was sitting at the piano.
- Doaker thinks that the piano is the reason Sutter's ghost has come into the house. He says that he heard the piano playing one time by itself.
- Doaker thinks that Berniece ought to get rid of the piano, because it's the source of all this trouble.
- Wining Boy says he doesn't care if Sutter's ghost hangs out by the piano; he thinks they should keep it.
- Wining Boy borrows seven dollars from Doaker.
- Boy Willie and Lymon burst into the room.
- They're really happy because they sold tons of watermelons today and made lots of money.
- Wining Boy sells Lymon his silk suit for four dollars, telling him that he'll be sure to get a woman tonight if buys the suit.
- Wining Boy also sells Lymon a pair of shoes that are too small for three more dollars.
- Lymon gets excited about his new outfit and hopes that he'll get lots of women tonight.
- He goes upstairs to try on his suit.
- Boy Willie says that all Lymon thinks about is women.
- Wining Boy says that Lymon's daddy was the same way.
- Apparently, Wining Boy used to hang out with him.
- Wining Boy tells a story about a time that Lymon's daddy got put in jail.
- Wining Boy was playing piano in a bar when Lymon's mother came and borrowed a hundred dollars to get Lymon's daddy out of jail.
- He gave her the money.
- She was so grateful that she and Wining Boy spent the night together.
- When Lymon's father got out of jail, he suspected something, but didn't say anything.
- Wining Boy says that Lymon's father was "one bad-luck nigger" (2.1.68). He ended up getting shot at a dance by someone who thought he was someone else.
- Doaker enters dressed in his railroad uniform ready for work.
- Lymon enters, wearing his new suit.
- Wining Boy tells him he looks great. He says the suit is magic and is guaranteed to get Lymon a woman.
- As the men exit, Wining Boy and Doaker give the younger men advice on how to pick up the ladies.
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