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Literature Study GuidesThe Piano Lesson

The Piano Lesson | Study Guide

August Wilson

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Course Hero. "The Piano Lesson Study Guide." Course Hero. 5 Oct. 2017. Web. 31 May 2023. <>.

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Course Hero. "The Piano Lesson Study Guide." October 5, 2017. Accessed May 31, 2023.


Course Hero, "The Piano Lesson Study Guide," October 5, 2017, accessed May 31, 2023,


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August Wilson

First Performed






Perspective and Narrator

Although The Piano Lesson is a play and has no narrator, it is worth noting that much of the family's history and insight into other characters' motivation is provided by the two older characters in the play, Doaker and Wining Boy Charles, the uncles of the two main characters.

About the Title

The title The Piano Lesson is taken from the name of a 1983 collage, Piano Lesson, by the African American artist Romare Bearden. It is believed to show the jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams, who grew up in Pittsburgh, sitting for a piano lesson. But the title also reflects the main conflict in the play, which centers around a piano a brother and sister have inherited from their mother.


This study guide and infographic for August Wilson's The Piano Lesson offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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