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The Piano Lesson

The Piano Lesson


by August Wilson

The Piano Lesson Act 2, Scene 3 Summary

  • It's several hours later.
  • Boy Willie stumbles into the house with some lady named Grace. He keeps trying to get a kiss from her.
  • Grace is not impressed with the idea that they'll have to sleep on the couch. She wants to go back to her place where she's got a bed.
  • Grace says it'll be fine as long as her ex-boyfriend, Leroy, doesn't come back.
  • Boy Willie isn't particularly excited about the possibility of meeting Leroy.
  • He wins Grace over by saying, "Let me heist your hood and check your oil. See if your battery needs charged" (2.2.26).
  • For some unknowable reason, Grace is charmed by this, and they start to make out.
  • It gets pretty hot and heavy; so much so that they knock over a lamp.
  • Berniece calls down from upstairs.
  • Boy Willie tells her to go back to sleep.
  • She enters from the stairs, sees what's going on, and tells Grace she has to leave.
  • Boy Willie complains, "I don't know why you want to embarrass me in front of my company" (2.3.43).
  • He and Grace go off to her house.
  • Berniece hangs out in the kitchen and puts on a tea kettle.
  • Lymon shows up. He tells Berniece that he was hanging out with some woman, but she just wanted to drink up all his money.
  • He liked Grace a lot better.
  • Berniece tells him she just gave Boy Willie and Grace the boot.
  • Lymon tells Berniece all about how he was starting to talk to Grace in the saloon, but then Boy Willie swooped in and took over.
  • Lymon got stuck talking to Grace's friend, Dolly, but he didn't really like her.
  • Berniece asks him what he's planning to do up here in the big city of Pittsburgh.
  • He says he wants to get a job and settle down.
  • She tells him he won't have trouble finding a job; he presents himself well, unlike Boy Willie.
  • Lymon talks again about how Boy Willie swooped in and took Grace.
  • Berniece tells him that he shouldn't be looking for women in saloons.
  • He talks about how he likes easygoing women.
  • Lymon asks her about Avery and says that he liked it when Avery talked about his dream of sheep people. All I ever dream about is women, says Lymon. He complains that can't ever find the right one.
  • Berniece says that he'll find her one day.
  • Lymon encourages her to go ahead and marry Avery. He talks about how he hates living alone.
  • She says it'll work out for him one day.
  • He talks about how Wining Boy sold him the suit and told him it would magically bring him a woman.
  • Lymon brings out a bottle of perfume.
  • He says he was going to give it to Dolly, but he didn't like her very much.
  • Lymon offers the perfume to Berniece.
  • He takes the bottle and puts a bit behind Berniece's ear.
  • She stiffens to his touch.
  • Lymon smells where he put the perfume and begins to kiss her neck.
  • He kisses her on the lips, and she kisses him back.
  • She breaks the embrace and heads back toward the stairs.
  • Lymon gives her the perfume.
  • They stare at each other silently for a moment, and then she goes upstairs.
  • Stage directions say, "Lymon picks up his suit coat lovingly with the full knowledge that it is indeed a magic suit" (2.3.84).

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