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. Who offers herself to Wining Boy as repayment for helping bail a family member out of jail?

2. Which character is afraid to sleep upstairs alone?

3. Which of the following characters is NOT involved in stealing the piano from the Sutter home?

4. What does Boy Willie threaten to do to the piano?

5. What does Avery do for a living?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Lymon come into possession of Wining Boy's suit?

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

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

4. 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?

5. Why has Avery shown up at the Charles home?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Music is another way for the Charles family to preserve their family history.

Part 1. Create a list of three scenes within the play during which music is present.

Part 2. Explain why the music of the play acts as a symbol of the Charles family history.

Part 3. Choose two characters from the Charles family and compare / contrast their relationship to music. This comparison could be regarding the piano music or the family singing.

Essay Topic 2

Both Cleotha and Crawley are remembered by their mourning spouses throughout the play. Explain how Crawley and Cleotha died and compare/contrast the ways that their spouses keep their memories alive.

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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