The Piano Lesson & Rdquo, By August Wilson

721 Words3 Pages
An Essay on “The Piano Lesson” \ The triumph of humanity can come in many forms. There are fears that every person faces in their lifetime that can hinder them from overcoming life’s obstacles. In the play, “The Piano Lesson”, by August Wilson, there were many fears and conflicts to overcome, but the strength of their family’s history enabled them to embrace the future. What the reader can gain from this play is the prominent sense of loyalty, ambition, and triumph over adversity. The character had possession of an old piano that had the carvings of their parents who were in slavery. Whether or not to sell the piano is the dyer question that halos itself above this family. There is one individual who…show more content…
The experiences of the characters are based on years of history that African Americans have endured in America since the age of slavery. The painting titled, “Piano Lesson”, was Wilson’s primary source of inspiration. The painting was by Romare Bearden and the play is set in Pittsburgh in the year of 1936. The heritage that slavery has left behind is an open sore in the hearts of many African Americans and Wilson’s primary goal was to express this anguish within his writing. He was able to display the relationships that families of that era adorned on society during the Great Depression. “The Piano Lesson” won Wilson’s second Pulitzer Prize and gave him the status of being one of America’s great playwrights. The play debuted on November 26, 1987 at the Yale Repertory Theatre and made its debut on Broadway in 1990. It was then developed as a feature film directed by Lloyd Richards and was released in…show more content…
Boy Willie then begins to tell Berniece’s daughter Maretha the truth about the piano and Berniece tells Boy Willie to stop and that she can raise her daughter the way she wants and he can raise his when he has one. When Boy Willie comes to take the piano Wining Boy and Doaker try to stop him and in the middle of the chaos Sutter’s ghost reappears and his presence is felt by everyone in the house. They then freeze and Avery, the family’s preacher then proceeds to do an exorcism to rid the family of the ghost. The ghost and Boy Willie get into a life or death brawl and the family is stunned to see this occurring. After some time Berniece then approaches the piano and sings a chorus to force the ghost away. Berniece sings the following song, “I want you to help me. I want you to help me. Mama Berniece I want you to help me. Mama Esther I want you to help me. Papa Boy Charles I want you to help me. Mama Ola I want you to help me”. The ghost then escapes out of the house and Berniece is no longer is afraid of the piano and its spirits and begins to embrace them; she even teaches Maretha how to play the piano. The resolution in the play was accomplished when Boy Willie decides to keep the piano for Berniece and his family. After fighting the ghost and Berniece facing her fear and playing the piano, all are able to see the importance the heirloom has.

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