The Piano Lesson Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How do Boy Willie and Lymon end up in Pittsburgh?

Boy Willie and Lymon have traveled from Mississippi to Pittsburgh in a rickety wooden truck full of watermelons that they hope to sell. They have come to Pittsburgh because Boy Willie has family there, and the men hope the family will look after them.

2. What reaction does the family have to Boy Willie's sudden arrival at their doorstep?

Berniece is shocked to see him, wary of his presence and quite suspicious of his reasons for being in the city, repeatedly asking him to leave. Uncle Doaker, on the other hand, is a bit more welcoming, even offering Boy Willie a drink of liquor.

3. What does Boy Willie claim has happened to the man named Sutter?

Boy Willie claims that the man who used to own his family as slaves was killed by the Ghosts of the Yellow Dog. Supposedly, the ghosts pushed Sutter into his own well and drowned him.

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