The Piano Lesson
by August Wilson
The Piano Lesson Rules and Order Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.
Boy Willie: "I done a little bit of stealing here and there, but I ain't never killed nobody." (1.2.164)
Boy Willie doesn't seem to have any moral problems with stealing. Here, though, he does seem to draw the line at murder. This line supports the idea that he's innocent of killing Sutter.
Boy Willie: "We ain't stole no wood. Me and Lymon was hauling wood for Jim Miller and keeping a little bit on the side." (1.2.170)
Hmmm, we have to wonder what the difference is between stealing something and "keeping a little bit on the side." What do you think? Is there a distinction here? Or is Boy Willie just dancing around the fact that he and Lymon were stealing wood.
Wining Boy: "Boy Charles ain't took [the piano] to give it back. He took it cause he figure he had more right to it than Sutter did." (2.1.14)
What do you think about this? Legally, the piano was definitely Sutter's. Boy Charles, Wining Boy, and Doaker would all be convicted of stealing in a court of law. However, the piano wasn't bought with money; it was traded for the lives of their grandmother and father. It was literally bought with their family. On top of that, their family history is carved into the piano. So, was it theft for them to take the piano from Sutter's house? Or was it them reclaiming something that was rightfully theirs?