• Home
  • Subjects
  • Literature
  • The Piano Lesson by August Wilson. Expliring the Dischotomy of Traditional African American Valuesversus Christianity and American Customs

The Piano Lesson by August Wilson. Expliring the Dischotomy of Traditional African American Valuesversus Christianity and American Customs - Essay Example

In “The Piano Lesson” by August Wilson, Wilson sets up a unique dichotomy for his characters to explore the differences between traditional African American values and religion and the encroaching nature of American customs and the role that Christianity plays in regional acceptance…
Download full paper
File format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER94.3% of users find it useful
The Piano Lesson by August Wilson. Expliring the Dischotomy of Traditional African American Valuesversus Christianity and American Customs

Extract of sample The Piano Lesson by August Wilson. Expliring the Dischotomy of Traditional African American Valuesversus Christianity and American Customs

Download file to see previous pages More, Wilson explores the inherent conflict that a traditional African-American family feels between maintaining their culture and heritage while being forced to succumb to the world of the white man. With that said, a close look will be taken into the archetype Wilson utilizes as a commentary to explore and highlight the conflict of the Charles family and their attempt to maintain their African-American heritage and values in a world of Christianity and white man culture.
To begin with, throughout the works of August Wilson, the “characters are struggling with and wrestling over their ideas of religion and God” (Rudolph 562). With a subtle twist of his internal commentary, Wilson leads his characters into choosing their African-American heritage and traditional religion over the modernity of Christianity because his works run far deeper than to present a mere play. What Wilson is giving his readers is a true glimpse into the heartache and trauma present when trying to survive in a world that has no understanding of the meaning of retaining heritage and family culture. Where America is the melting pot, traditional values and hundred-year-old customs come to die.
Wilson’s words are transcendent and offer for the reader insight into the realm of the actualities of choosing heritage over modern values and the difficulties presented by such a choice. For, to choose heritage over modern values is to isolate both the one and the family from the white man’s world, which seems a backward step for African-Americans as a whole. However, in looking at the big picture that Wilson is presenting, a reader can begin to understand the deep internal conflict that African-Americans deal with, daily, when trying to live in a world that offers values on the extremity of their own. In a way, choosing the white man’s world is giving up, going back to a world where blacks are worth less than whites, where blacks have to give in to the morals and values of the white man to ensure their own survival. And it is in this moment that a reader begins to see the deeper meaning in Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson.” More, it is a lesson that runs so deep it crosses the boundaries of cultures and legacies. Essentially, “The Piano Lesson” is about an artifact in history, a moment in time where a family is given the choice to choose heritage over a life made easier by the values of the white man. But to do so will be giving up everything their family has ever worked towards, or has ever stood for—freedom and the right to exist; more the right to exist with their own personal values intact. Because, only in this manner is the family truly surviving, anything less is to chip away at what their family heritage represents. However, it would be a simple matter to accept Christianity and the tenets of modern American values because “acceptance of one religion resolves the conflict” (Rudolph 562). But Wilson’s characters are unable to make this move because their history means more than the ease they would feel at finally be free from the choice between heritage and modern values. The antagonist of the play, Boy Willie Charles is obsessed with selling the family’s piano to purchase a plot of land and to raise the family’s financial stake in the world. This represents a major problem for the rest of the Charles family because they believe the piano is the central piece in the family’s religion, that to sell it would represent a sweeping denouncement of the family legacy for a measly parcel of land. Boy Willie’s drive for financial gain is twisted by his need to survive in a modern ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
StudentShare Professional Writing Service is the right decision for you! Only from $14,99/page for a 100% unique and relevant paper. Enter your email, choose essay type and get your personal 20% discount
on on expert writing!
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“The Piano Lesson by August Wilson. Expliring the Dischotomy of Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/literature/1449792-the-piano-lesson-by-august-wilson-expliring-the-dischotomy-of-traditional-african-american-valuesversus-christianity-and-american-customs
(The Piano Lesson by August Wilson. Expliring the Dischotomy of Essay)
“The Piano Lesson by August Wilson. Expliring the Dischotomy of Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/literature/1449792-the-piano-lesson-by-august-wilson-expliring-the-dischotomy-of-traditional-african-american-valuesversus-christianity-and-american-customs.
  • Cited: 0 times
jalen95 added comment 1 month ago
Student rated this paper as
This essay was always my weak point. I could never complete it on time. Still, after I found this precise document, I understood how it should be completed. So, I performed my research afterward and completed the essay in several hours, instead of weeks as it was previously.
Click to create a comment or rate a document

MORE SAMPLES OF TOPIC: "The Piano Lesson by August Wilson. Expliring the Dischotomy of Traditional African American Valuesversus Christianity and American Customs"

The Piano Lesson by August Wilson

...appeared defeated because of it indicating she got some help from their own deceased relatives. The title of the play as piano lesson is not really about piano lessons at all but rather the lessons one learns from life (MacLean 104). In the play, August Wilson also emphasized the empowerment of the black female American in the adamance of Berniece in deciding to keep their family piano, with her saying “Look at this piano. Look at it. Mama Ola polished this piano with her tears for seventeen years. For seventeen years, she rubbed on it till her hands...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
Read More…

African American

...African-American Resistance in the Reconstruction and Jim Crow Era School African-American Resistance in the Reconstruction and Jim Crow Era Margaret Walker has opined, “Handicapped as we have been by a racist system of dehumanizing slavery and segregation, our American history of nearly five hundred years reveals that our cultural and spiritual gifts brought from our African past are still intact” (1997, p.---). This claim speaks a lot about the history of African-Americans. Throughout history, they faced various forms of suppression and oppression. Despite all this, African-Americans have managed to make their lives more livable by exhibiting a great degree of resilience. This work intends to look into the history of anti-black... ...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
Read More…

African American

...THE END OF SLAVERY End of Slavery For long periods, African Americans had been enslaved and the thought of gaining freedom one day was a mere illusion. However, after about 250 years of slavery, in 1985 there was finally hope of freedom. Freedom meant different things to different people but the joy that came with freedom was mutual. Although freedom was largely desired by everybody, it came with both positive and negative effects. Ending slavery meant that African Americans could not be forced to move to different parts to work therefore ensuring family unity unlike during slavery times. With freedom came a chance for willing African...
1 Pages(250 words)Assignment
Read More…

African American

...AFRICAN AMERICAN FREEDOM African American Freedom In over 250 years, the approximated 4 million African Americans living in America had never tasted freedom due to enslavement by the white people. African Americans were forced to work on white plantations without pay and harsh working conditions regardless of the gender. However, in 1965 with the passing of the thirteenth amendment that abolished slavery, African Americans could now enjoy freedom. Additionally, the thirteenth amendment was followed by the fourteenth amendment that gave all African Americans right to gain American citizenship. This were huge steps in the lives of African Americans but transitioning from slavery to freedom required some assistance hence creation... of the...
1 Pages(250 words)Assignment
Read More…

Personal Response of The Piano Lesson by August Wilson

...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,...
2 Pages(500 words)Assignment
Read More…

The Piano Lesson by August Wilson

...that the piano symbolizes the connection between the African-American historical experience and the mystical world of the sacral and the spectral. Similar to all of the plays of August Wilson, The Piano Lesson occurs in Pittsburgh and explores the struggles and attempts of an African American family to fight its birthright or heritage and the uncertainties of the future. Boy Willie is the play’s protagonist, who arrives at Pittsburgh with a companion, a wagon filled with watermelons, and a desire to recover the land that his family tilled and cultivated for centuries as slaves. This...
10 Pages(2500 words)Research Paper
Read More…
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic The Piano Lesson by August Wilson. Expliring the Dischotomy of Traditional African American Valuesversus Christianity and American Customs for FREE!

Contact Us