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. Which man was NOT involved in the theft that landed Boy Willie in prison?

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

3. Whose death does Berniece accuse Boy Willie of having a hand in?

4. What does Doaker do for a living?

5. Who does Boy Willie expect to teach Maretha about the significance of the piano?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Wining Boy arrives at Doaker's home, he wants to know what is happening with Boy Willie and his sales. What does Doaker tell him?

2. What religious rationalization does Boy WIllie have for the revenge he is seeking against the Sutter family?

3. How does Boy Willie respond to Doaker's intrusion as he is attempting to move the piano?

4. What events have prompted Doaker to believe that Berniece should sell the piano as soon as possible?

5. What realization does Boy Willie make when he hears his heart beating as a "black man's heart"?

6. When Berniece and Lymon's conversation turns to Avery, what advice does Lymon give to Berniece about the relationship?

7. What lesson does Boy Willie give Maretha on the piano?

8. Why won't Wining Boy play the piano when he is asked to?

9. What were the effects of the lumber theft that the men in the play were involved in?

10. After his failed date, what gift does Lymon give to Berniece, and what is her response to the gesture?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The women in this play are portrayed as weak in comparison to the men in the play. Choose one female character in the play and give two examples of the ways that they are overpowered by the male characters. Then, discuss the female character's reaction to the overpowering male characters.

Essay Topic 2

The railroads of the town are extremely significant throughout the play.

Part 1. Explain the symbolism of a railroad as it pertains to Boy Willie's life.

Part 2. Explain the reasons why the railroad is important in Doaker's life.

Part 3. Explain why the railroad has come to be an important element in the supernatural elements of the play.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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