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The Piano Lesson

The Piano Lesson

by August Wilson

Analysis: Genre

Drama, Family Drama, Magical Realism, Parable

We call the play a drama because it's well…a play – a piece of literature meant to be performed in front of a live audience. It's a family drama because the story centers around the trials and tribulations of the Charles family. We call it magical realism because the play mixes everyday events with fantastical ones – it blends the domestic struggles of the Charles family with a world spirits and ghosts. Lastly, we dub the play a parable. This is because the play's characters represent larger more complex issues. The play can also be called a parable, because it attempts to teach a lesson. It is called The Piano Lesson after all. To find out what that lesson might be, check out "What's up with the Title?"

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