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. What does Doaker believe is the significance of Sutter's blue suit?

2. Which character admits to being on the run from the police?

3. Who tells Boy Willie the story of the way that Boy Charles was killed?

4. Which of the following characters does NOT attempt to move the piano?

5. Which character states that the law of the white man is meaningless, and he has created a new set of laws?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Berniece respond to Avery's question when he unexpectedly comes to visit?

2. What happens when Boy Willie continues to insist that he be told the name of the prospective buyer for the piano?

3. What connection does Doaker make between travel and happiness?

4. What does Lymon tell Berniece he is looking for in a woman?

5. What happens when Boy Willie and Lymon attempt to move the piano for its potential buyer?

6. After his night out on the town in his "magic" suit, how did Lymon fare with the ladies?

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

8. Why does Boy Willie tease Doaker about his profession?

9. How did the piano come into the possession of the Charles family?

10. How did Sutter attempt to reconcile the trade with Nolander and keep his wife happy? What was the reaction?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Dreams prove to be an interesting and important way for characters in the text to receive divine messages. Avery's dream, in particular, is given the most symbolic weight within the story. Explain the symbolism of Avery's dream as it relates to his future and the themes within the play as a whole.

Essay Topic 2

There are many examples of prisons throughout this play, which are figurative, symbolic, and literal. Choose two examples of imprisonments that the characters find themselves in and compare/contrast the impact of the imprisonment in one of the character's lives. Briefly explain what that character does to fight against the various imprisonments in his or her life.

Essay Topic 3

The title of this play has special significance within the meaning of the play. What do you think is the true "piano lesson," and why do you think August Wilson chose to title his play this way?

(see the answer keys)

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