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Personal Response of The Piano Lesson by August Wilson - Assignment Example

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It is not enough to say, for example, that I was thrilled, excited, or surprised while reading the piece because emotions I…
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Personal Response of The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
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Personal Response to The Piano Lesson by August Wilson The play by August Wilson deals with a complicated issue of a family legacy, memory and responsibility, and it evokes not less complex emotions. It is not enough to say, for example, that I was thrilled, excited, or surprised while reading the piece because emotions I experienced were quite ambiguous and mixed due to the complexity of the discussed issue and belief conflict within me personally.
At first, till the story of the piano was not clear to me, it was quite difficult for me to understand why Bernice does not allow selling the musical instrument. In fact, it was confusion that I experienced for I could not understand why keep a thing that makes one suffer and that one does not use at all. In addition to this, Doaker mentions that “she [Bernice] say it [the piano] got blood on it” (Wilson 10). It is obvious Bernice does not play it because of some superstitions she has and keeping the piano at home seems to be unreasonable. Moreover, Bernice’s brother needs the money that could be obtained if the instrument is sold for a good purpose. Of course, he wants to buy the land to be a master there; he also wants to buy it, however, to be the master of the land on which his ancestors were enslaved.
When the long and tragic story of the piano was revealed to me, I experienced a belief conflict as I understood the actual value of the musical instrument. It appears to be both a symbol of both a family reunion and a reminder of slavery. Thus, it is more than an instrument: “[Boy Charles] Say [the piano] was the story of our whole family and as long as Sutter had it… he had us. Say we was still in slavery” (Wilson 45). On the one hand, the idea of buying Sutter’s land is the way to pay tribute to the ancestors and the opportunity to create happier future. On the other hand, selling the piano may be compared to selling the family’s past. I hesitated whose side to take almost to the very last scene of the play, in which the author of the piece himself suggests what is right.
The character that appeals to me is Boy Willie. It is mostly so because of his practical and somewhat down-to-earth view on life. He is the character that introduces the conflict into play saying he plans to sell the piano to buy the land. He says, “The only thing make the piano worth something is them carvings Papa Willie Boy put on there. […] Papa Boy Charles brought that piano into the house. Now, I’ m supposed to build on what they left me” (Wilson 51). In other words, for Boy Willie, selling the instrument to buy the land on which his ancestors worked as slaves is the way to honor their memory. In addition to this, selling the piano and buying the land is the opportunity to show that he is equal with the white majority and to live “at the top of life” (Wilson 92).
Work Cited
Wilson, A. The Piano Lesson. Plume, 1990. Print. Read More
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