The Piano Lesson Essay

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In this excerpt, Hornby review Wilson's play. While finding that the work does not hold the same appeal as the playwright's previous efforts, the critic lauds Wilson for his "vividness of characterization."

August Wilson's The Piano Lesson is set in the 1930s, continuing his chronicle of black life in America during each decade of the past hundred years. A family in Pittsburgh owns an antique piano, which originally belonged to the master of their ancestors in the days of slavery. The widowed young matron of the family, Berniece Charles, wants to keep the piano; her brother, Boy Willie, wants to sell it to help buy a piece of land in the South that was originally part of the plantation on which the family were slaves. The piano is covered with carvings made by their great-grandfather, depicting the family history.

The Piano Lesson is thus not only a historical...

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This section contains 609 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Piano Lesson Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Piano Lesson from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.