August Wilson Writing Styles in The Piano Lesson

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Naturalism is often confused with realism; however, although the two styles both represent "real life," there are important differences between them. Naturalist writers were influenced by scientific and evolutionary theories of human character and of social interaction. One of the central motifs of Naturalist writing is the individual's struggle to adapt to an often hostile environment. Indeed, most Naturalist writers emphasize their characters' environment to such an extent that it becomes an integral element in their narratives. Moreover, their protagonists usually belong to a less fortunate class than their middle-class audience or readership, and the description of their struggle to survive and succeed against all odds usually allows the writer the opportunity to make powerful social criticism.

Wilson is considered a Naturalist playwright par excellence. Although the play's conflict is triggered by Boy Willie's sudden appearance, the drama unfolds during the Charles family's everyday activities. Doaker describes precisely...

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This section contains 1,092 words
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The Piano Lesson from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.