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Drama - Essay Example

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In “The Piano Lesson” by August Wilson, Wilson explores the ideology of self worth through an expression of heritage through music and individuality. Wilson’s prose leaves the reader with several unanswered questions, namely, what is a person to do with their heritage,…
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Download file to see previous pages... ?The Piano Lesson” defines the history of African-Americans, which is a history that is painful and problematic to all ethnic groups in this country because of the conflicts and dispersion of traditions and values that African-Americans have a right to keep. The plot follows the Charles family and the symbolic and literal piano that maintains the centerpiece of their lives. Every aspect of the play revolves around the piano, past and present, and a reader is left to wonder at the intensity with which the Charles family values music in their lives. At its foundation, however, the play isn’t about a piano; it is about the need for stability and heritage that is inherent in all of their lives. Neither brother nor sister can live without what that particular piano represents, and that, in itself, highlights the purity of the metaphor that Wilson has crafted for his audience.
Wilson’s cannon of plays on the African-American perspective may be “more thematic than theatrical; the plays are rich in their variety of characters and conflicts, and in the resolutions to these conflicts” (Boan 263). Even a casual reader of his plays, specifically “The Piano Lesson,” will come away feeling like they have been granted access into the African-American dynamic and struggles that African-Americans as a culture have to deal with in all elements of their lives. Culture, to any race, is a specific understanding and implementation of their heritage, and it’s easy to lose that in white America, where the dominant culture has become a melting pot of ideologies that are inconsistent with any one race or heritage. Many of these ideologies are often incompatible with the heritage and beliefs that certain races may want to uphold, which makes balancing life with personal traditions more complicated than it seems.
Further, “beneath the diversity within the dramatic framework of the plays lies the assertion that the present for black America has been invariably shaped ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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