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The Piano Lesson

The Piano Lesson


by August Wilson

Boy Willie Timeline and Summary

  • Boy Willie arrives from Mississippi with a truck full of watermelons.
  • He tells everybody that the Ghosts of the Yellow Dog pushed Sutter down his well.
  • He declares that he plans to sell the piano so that he can buy Sutter's land; Doaker tells him that Berniece will never agree.
  • Boy Willie says that Berniece is crazy when she says she sees Sutter's ghost.
  • He denies killing Sutter when Berniece accuses him of it.
  • He teaches Maretha to play a boogie-woogie.
  • He tries to get the number of the white guy who wants to buy the piano from Berniece, but she refuses, saying she'll never sell it.
  • Boy Willie talks about how he and Lymon ended up on Parchman Farm.
  • He tries to move the piano and ends up getting in a big fight with Berniece about whether it should be sold.
  • He tells Berniece that it wasn't his fault that her husband, Crawley, died but doesn't defend himself as she hits him.
  • Boy Willie sells lots of watermelons, then heads out for a night on the town with Lymon.
  • He makes out with a lady named Grace.
  • He finds the guy who wants to buy the piano and makes a deal.
  • He tries to move the piano with Lymon, but it is too heavy.
  • Despite Doaker's protests, he declares that once he gets some wheels and rope, he's going to take the piano and sell it.
  • Boy Willie argues with Berniece as he screws wheels on a board and waits for Lymon to show up so they can finally move the piano.
  • He starts hauling the piano out of the house, when Lymon returns.
  • Boy Willie is unafraid when Berniece threatens him with a gun.
  • He mocks Avery's prayers as the preaches tries to bless the house and piano.
  • Boy Willie wrestles Sutter's ghost.
  • He lets Berniece have the piano, but tells her to keep playing on it, he and the ghost might both come back.