The Piano Lesson Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Boy Willie react to Berniece's claim that she has seen a ghost?

2. Lymon and Boy Willie have come to sell what fruit?

3. What color is the ghost that Lyman claims killed Sutter?

4. What name was the ghost repeating?

5. Boy Willie is trying to sell his fruit in what type of neighborhood?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Sutter react to the disappearance of his prized piano?

2. What reason does Berniece give her brother for wanting him out of the house?

3. Why does Berniece send Maretha to the store on the day that Boy Willie intends to remove the piano?

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

5. What is revealed about Wining Boy's life as a musician while married?

6. What does Boy Willie believe about the laws of the white man?

7. Why does Avery believe that Berniece should start a choir in her home?

8. What happens when Berniece threatens Boy Willie with the gun?

9. When Boy Willie and Lymon realize that they cannot move the piano, how do they respond?

10. What happens when Boy Willie comes home from his date with Grace?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The idea of supernatural beings within the Charles home is particularly strong in relation to Sutter's ghost.

Part 1. Give three examples of moments in which one or more members of the Charles family feels the presence of Sutter's spirit in their home.

Part 2. Briefly explain the reasons suggested for Sutter's stalking of the Charles family, and particularly, his spirit's apparent presence within the piano.

Part 3. Explain the various ways that members of the Charles family attempt to get rid of Sutter's spirit.

Essay Topic 2

The text of "The Piano Lesson" is presented as a play rather than straight prose. What reasons do you think August Wilson had to present his story this way? What was gained in the form of stage writing? What was lost?

Essay Topic 3

Even though there are many characters who have passed away in the play, the living characters seem to believe that they are still able to communicate with the dead. Give two examples of moments within the play that living characters attempt to speak with the dead. Compare / contrast their methods of speaking with the dead and compare / contrast the outcome of their "conversations."

(see the answer keys)

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