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 Wining Boy returns home from the city, how much money does he say he received?

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

3. Where does Sutter find and kill Boy Charles?

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

5. What type of song does Boy Willie play on the piano?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Boy Willie claim is the history of the railroad known as the Yellow Dog line?

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

3. What was Ophelia's reaction to the trade between her husband and Nolander?

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

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

6. Whose ghost does Berniece think that she sees, and what does it tell her?

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

8. What type of encounter does Boy Willie explain that he has had with the piano's potential buyer on his way home from Grace's?

9. Why did Berneice stop playing the piano as a child?

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

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 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

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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