Gay Rights

Topics: Learning, Piano, The Piano Lesson Pages: 1 (324 words) Published: January 17, 2013
In The Piano Lesson each central character learns a lesson. August Wilson uses plenty of symbolism throughout his play, the strongest symbol being the piano itself, representing the family's history, their long struggle, and their burden of their race. Throughout the play, the conflict revolves around the piano, and Berniece and Boy Willie's contrasting views about its significance and about what should be done with it. Berniece is ashamed and cannot let go of the past, or the piano, and Boy Willie wants to move his life forward, and use the piano to do so. Wilson portrays the 'lesson' of the piano as accepting and respecting one's past and moving on with one's life gracefully, through Berniece and Boy Willies contrasting actions and the play's climactic resolution. Berniece believes the piano represents the spirits of the past and should be left alone and never bothered, and is afraid to accept or embrace her family?s history. The piano represents a particularly bloody and disturbing past for her. She sees Sutter?s ghost and senses his presence, and is constantly haunted by the ...

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...the piano. Often people will sulk in the past and struggle with themselves and the people around them when they cannot come to terms with their personal history or a loss. Others will blatantly ignore their personal history and sell valuable lessons and pieces of it for a quick buck to advance their own lives. Berniece and Boy Willie in The Piano Lesson are great examples of these people. Through these contrasting characters and supernatural occurrences, Wilson tells the tale of overcoming and embracing a rough and unsettling family history.

August Wilson titles his play, “The Piano Lesson”, however, the play has nothing to do with piano lessons at all. The lesson learned in this play is one of African American history. Wilson gives his audience a profound look at the past and how it influences the present.
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