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The Piano Lesson | Study Guide

August Wilson

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The Piano Lesson | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about August Wilson's The Piano Lesson. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

the-piano-lesson-august-wilsonBerniece, Act I, Scene II oney can’t buy what that piano cost.Sources: Conversations with August Wilson edited by Jackson R. Bryer and Mary C. Hartig, Encyclopaedia Britannica,Freedmen & Southern Society Project, PBSCopyright © 2017 Course Hero, Inc.Law vs. JusticeWhats legal and whats right can be very different things.LegacyThe worth of a legacy ismuch greater than its monetary value.ThemesPropertyIts a long journey from being enslaved to owning property.Oldest living member of the Charles clan; gambler who has never settled downWining BoyQuiet and reliable uncle; knows a lot about the Charles familys historyDoaker CharlesImmature younger brother to Berniece; needs money to buy a farm in MississippiBoy WillieWidowed in her early 30s; has a daughter to raise and lives with Uncle DoakerBernieceMain CharactersHalf German and half African American, Wilson grew up in Pittsburghs predominantly African American Hill District. The Hill forms the setting for many of his plays—including the Pulitzer Prizewinning The Piano Lessonwhich explore African American life and culture throughout the 20th century.AUGUST WILSON1945–2005AuthorFiercely protective of their heritage, Berniece will not let go of the piano.Worth Fighting ForGenerations of the Charles family have suffered and died for the piano.Family LegacyBoy Willie sees the piano only as a source of cash for the land he covets.Means to an EndSharecropper Boy Willie drives to Pittsburgh in 1936 to scrape together the money to buy his own farm in Mississippi. When he reveals his plan to sell the family piano for money, his sister Berniece objects. She argues that selling the piano would be selling the familys soul.A Piece of Woodor a Familys Soul?OVERVIEWEnglishOriginal Language1987First PerformedAugust WilsonAuthorThe Piano LessonDramaPlay

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