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The Piano Lesson
The Piano Lesson
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Table of Contents
AP English Language
AP English Literature
SAT Test Prep
ACT Exam Prep
The Piano Lesson Analysis
Literary Devices in The Piano Lesson
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
The infamous piano at the center of the play's conflict is about as symbolic as it gets. It has meant a lot of things to a lot of different people over the years. Now, sitting in Doaker's living ro...
The play is set in living room and kitchen of the Charles houses. These specific rooms are important because they allow the family to congregate, share their stories, and have their battles.The sta...
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 tri...
August Wilson's voice is a unique blend of African-American dialect and heightened poetry. So, the tone of The Piano Lesson, as well as his other plays, often manages to be incredibly approachable...
August Wilson's plays are almost always pretty "realistic." They have to do with everyday people in pretty everyday situations. Almost all of Wilson's characters are black and they speak in an Afri...
What's Up With the Title?
No, The Piano Lesson isn't a manual on how to play the piano, but it is about someone with something to learn. By the end of the play, all of its characters appear to have learned a "lesson." "Oh,...
What's Up With the Epigraph?
Gin my cottonSell my seedBuy my baby Everything she need – Skip JamesThis is a totally fitting epigraph for several reasons. First of all, it's from a song by the famous blues musician Skip J...
What's Up With the Ending?
The Piano Lesson's big finish happens when Berniece banishes the ghost of Sutter. Avery, a preacher, tries to exorcise the ghost by calling on the Christian God, but ultimately fails. It takes Bern...
We think The Piano Lesson is one of August Wilson's most accessible plays. The language is beautifully poetic yet really easy to get into. The play is full of humor, drama, and even a little supern...
Boy Willie arrives.Boy Willie and Lymon arrive from Mississippi with a truckload of watermelons. Boy Willie's sister, Berniece, is less than pleased that he's there.Boy Willie and Berniece argue ov...
Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy and Rebirth
The Piano Lesson doesn't seem to fall into any of Booker's basic plots exactly. For the most part, the play is structured like a tragedy. But instead of death and destruction at the end, we have a...
Three Act Plot Analysis
Boy Willie and Lymon arrive from Mississippi with a truck load of watermelons to sell. However, Boy Willie's real goal is to sell the family's historic piano, so that he can buy Sutter's land. His...
"Wining Boy Blues" was a song by the famous rag blues piano player Jelly Roll Morton. We're guessing that The Piano Lesson's blues singing, piano playing Wining Boy is named after this song.The TV...
There aren't many steamy scenes in The Piano Lesson. Boy Willie and Grace, a girl he meets in bar, make out in the living room a bit, but Berniece kicks them out before things go too far. If it was...
Humpty Dumpty (2.1.44)Old Ship of Zion (2.2.49)Parchman Farm (1.1.86, and throughout)Irene Kaufman Settlement House (1.1.106)
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