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Research - Essay Example

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Wilson’s play, “The Piano Lesson”, focuses little on the economic frustration and disappointment of the Great Depression, but much on the socio-cultural tenets and temperaments of the era. Set in the historical backdrop of the Great Depression and revolving around a…
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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 submersed. Clearly neither the Great Depression nor any type of economic disappointment is not in the play’s focus. They are greatly affected with 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 play ‘The Piano Lesson’, Wilson appears to be more concerned with the growing optimism in the first generation of the 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. The brother and the sister stand at the crossroads on which the born-free African-Americans “found themselves during the first half of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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