The Piano Lesson Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 53 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Piano Lesson.
This section contains 1,289 words
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Wilson's cycle of plays concentrates on African-American experience during the twentieth century, but they are all also focused—in either direct or indirect ways—upon the experience of slavery.

The Charles family in Wilson's play is almost a textbook example of the southern black experience in the nineteenth and twentieth century, and it is certain that Wilson intended his characters to be representative of that history. After the emancipation of the slaves in 1863, most ex-slaves remained on the land, renting from their former masters as tenant-farmers (sharecroppers). The returns from their labor were low, the risks of natural disasters were high, and the costs of living were artificially inflated because it was mainly whites who owned the stores at which blacks bought and sold their goods. Many sharecroppers were locked into a cycle of debt to their former masters and lived in grueling poverty. This paucity...

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This section contains 1,289 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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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.