The Impact of Great Depression in the Piano Lesson - Assignment Example

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The study “The Impact of Great Depression in the Piano Lesson” analyzes Wilson’s play, which focuses little on the economic frustration and disappointment of the Great Depression, but much on the socio-cultural tenets and temperaments of the era…
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The Impact of Great Depression in the Piano Lesson
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Download file to see previous pages Far from embracing the American Dream that suffered the most from the Great Depression, the African Americans -who were still unfamiliar with their status as a member of the society after the end of slavery- could barely imagine, what the American Dream meant during the Depression era. When, for a white American, moving to the North meant chasing after fortune, for an African American it meant not only to seek for new hopes but also to run away from the Jim Crows; from the hostility of the Southern white society to its own black child (Bellamy 23-28). Yet in the play, the Great Depression is an invisible reality in which Wilson’s characters are submerged. Clearly, neither the Great Depression nor any type of economic disappointment is not in the play’s focus. They are greatly affected by the consequences of the said historical event and they have to survive economically (Burgan 45-7). But they must choose the way of their survival whether by selling their legacy or by keeping it intact and enlivened. Referring to this invisible existence of the Great Depression, Sarah Bellamy says,
Even though it is set in the 1930s, The Piano Lesson does not contend with the rampant disappointment of the Depression era, but with the political temperature of a country yet divided around the abolition of slavery. The American dream was alien propaganda in African American culture. (23)
In the play ‘The Piano Lesson’, Wilson appears to be more concerned with the growing optimism in the first generation of born-free black America during the Great Depression Era. Berniece and Boy Willie characterize two different trends of this African-American generations’ optimism for the oncoming years.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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