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. When the group is singing prison songs, which character is asked to play the piano?

2. Which of the following was NOT an element in Avery's significant dream?

3. What beverage do the men drink while discussing Parchman Prison?

4. Who teases Doaker about the women who are after him?

5. After the story about Boy Charles' death, what does the family hear Maretha doing at the end of the first act?

Short Essay Questions

1. What story does Boy Willie tell his sister about the dog he had as a child?

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. What does Avery tell Berniece when he comes to visit her while she is preparing a bath?

9. What happens when Doaker emerges to see Boy Willie and Lymon attempting to move the piano?

10. How does Berniece react when she sees Boy Willie attempting to move the piano?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Charles family spends a lot of time arguing about their family legacy. Choose one instance in which the Charles family attempts to discuss their family history. What object is used as a symbol for their family's legacy? How is that object treated by the family? How does the treatment of the object reflect the family history it will leave behind?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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