The Piano Lesson by August Wilson Essay

The Piano Lesson by August Wilson Essay

Length: 1121 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“I got the power of death” (Wilson 29). You might recognize this quote from Boy Willie in The Piano Lesson by August Wilson an African American play writer. In this essay I am going to highlight some things about his life. According to (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia) August Wilson was born on April 27, 1945 in the town of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He was born Frederick August Kittel, Jr. Son of a German immigrant named Frederick August Kittel and his mother was an African-American named Daisy Wilson. August was the fourth out of six children. He and his siblings were raised in a two-room apartment above a grocery store for most of August Wilsons childhood.
After Wilson's parents divorced his mother married David Bedford, his mother and his siblings moved to a mostly white suburb in the Oakland section in 1961. After being bullied from the student’s everyday he transferred to Connelly Vocational High School, and later on to Gladstone High School. According to (www.biography.com) when August was 15 years old, he pursued an independent education at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. August dropped out because of his teacher accusing him of plagiarizing a twenty page report about Napoleon.
According to the World Book (Adler) “August Wilson was a leading African American play wright. His work is a cycle of ten plays called "The Pittsburgh Cycle" that traces the black experience in America.” Mr.Wilson did a total number of ten play based on the 20th century. A play for each decade. August wrote about the ever changing texture of the African American life. The play for each decade idea didn't come to him till later when he looked at the dates of his previous plays; 1911, 1927, 1941, 1957, and 1971. He thought about it and the idea of a...


... middle of paper ...


...

1. Adler, Thomas. "Wilson August." World Book.. 1st. Chicago: 2008. Print.
2. "A Playwright's Work Is Never Done." Tell Me More 8 May 2007. General OneFile. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.
3. "A Widow's Might." Tell Me More 8 May 2007. General OneFile. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.
4. "Wilson marquee." Hollywood Reporter 18 Oct. 2005: 3. General OneFile. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.
5. "August Wilson." 2013. The Biography Channel website. Dec 12 2013, 02:13
6. "August Wilson." The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature. Oxford University Press, Inc., 2001, 2002. Answers.com 12 Dec. 2013. http://www.answers.com/topic/august-wilson
7. "August Wilson." Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1994-2010. Answers.com 12 Dec. 2013. http://www.answers.com/topic/august-wilson
8. Wilson, August. The Piano Lesson. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2007. Print

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Ownership And Relationship In August Wilson's The Piano Lesson Essay

- The concept of ownership and possession plays a vital role in the decisions humans make. In such an ephemeral life, many people wish to leave a “mark on the world,” or have a legacy in order to not be forgotten in the sea of countless lives. Thus, we go to great lengths when trying to stay immortal to the human memory. The author of The Piano Lesson , August Wilson, establishes the idea of human infatuation with ownership with the creation of three characters- Boy Willie, Berniece, and the ghost of Sutter- who have fixations over keeping a part of their histories preserved....   [tags: Piano, Slavery, August Wilson, Family, Possession]

Strong Essays
1004 words (2.9 pages)

Lessons from The Piano Lesson by August Wilson Essay

- What should one do with their legacy, and how should it be put to use. In the play “The Piano Lesson”, the Charles' family faces this question, and struggles to find the answer. The family’s legacy is in the form of a piano. On the piano are carvings of their ancestors. The two main characters that are having a conflict over the piano are Berniece and Boy Willie. Boy Willie wants to sell the piano so he can add the proceeds of the sale to the proceeds of selling watermelon’s and buy some land from “Sutter”....   [tags: The Piano Lesson Analysis]

Strong Essays
951 words (2.7 pages)

The Piano Lesson by August Wilson Essay

- The Piano Lesson by August Wilson: The Wisdom of the Ivories Can a treasured object of the past serve as a teacher for the future. Once people share the historical significance of it, an object can symbolize the overcoming of hardships of those lives in which it becomes a part. Therefore, it may indeed “instruct” future generations to glean wisdom from the past. August Wilson’s play The Piano Lesson centers on the trials and triumphs of a family affected by the enslaving of their ancestors and by current racial prejudice....   [tags: racial prejudice, slavery, god, holy spirit]

Strong Essays
2084 words (6 pages)

Essay on The Piano Lesson By August Wilson

- In The Piano Lesson by August Wilson, Berniece and Boy Willie are siblings who both want the piano that belongs to their family. Berniece wants to keep the piano because it holds their family history and it reminds her of the hard work her mother put into the piano. However, Boy Willie wants to sell the piano to buy land from Sutter’s brother because to him the land, like the piano, are both a part of his family’s history and both represent being free from Sutter. Both siblings fight over who has more rights to the piano and deserves it....   [tags: Family, Need]

Strong Essays
1109 words (3.2 pages)

The Piano Lesson by August Wilson Essay

- “I got the power of death” (Wilson 29). You might recognize this quote from Boy Willie in The Piano Lesson by August Wilson an African American play writer. In this essay I am going to highlight some things about his life. According to (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia) August Wilson was born on April 27, 1945 in the town of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He was born Frederick August Kittel, Jr. Son of a German immigrant named Frederick August Kittel and his mother was an African-American named Daisy Wilson....   [tags: american play writer, biography]

Strong Essays
1121 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on The Piano Lesson By August Wilson

- In the play “The Piano Lesson”, August Wilson utilizes two main characters Boy Willie and Berniece to present the theme of gender roles and sexual politics. The reaction of the siblings toward the piano illustrates the role of a man and woman during the conflict. Throughout the entire play they argue over the piano and struggle with an underlying problem of choosing to honor their ancestors or leaving the family’s history in the past. Boy Willie wants to show respect to his ancestors by selling the piano to continue the Charles’s family legacy....   [tags: Gender role, Gender, Man, Woman]

Strong Essays
1593 words (4.6 pages)

Analysis: The Piano Lesson by August Wilson Essay

- August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, tells a story of a family haunted by the pain of their past and their struggle to find peace to move forward. The story begins with character Boy Willie coming up from the south visiting his sister Bernice. Boy Willie introduces the idea of selling the family’s heirloom, a piano, to raise enough money to buy the land on which his ancestors were enslaved. However, both Boy Willie and his sister Berniece own half a half of the piano and she refuses to let Boy Willie sell it....   [tags: pain, struggle, peace, move forward]

Strong Essays
1745 words (5 pages)

Symbolism in August Wilson's Piano Lesson Essay

- In The Piano Lesson each central character learns a lesson. August Wilson uses plenty of symbolism throughout his play, the strongest symbol being the piano itself, representing the family's history, their long struggle, and their burden of their race. Throughout the play, the conflict revolves around the piano, and Berniece and Boy Willie's contrasting views about its significance and about what should be done with it. Berniece is ashamed and cannot let go of the past, or the piano, and Boy Willie wants to move his life forward, and use the piano to do so....   [tags: August Wilson essays research papers]

Strong Essays
1021 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Feelings and Emotions in The Piano Lesson by August Wilson

- One of the main characters that is mentioned in the play The Piano Lesson by August Wilson is a woman named Berniece Charles. She has been a widow for three years and she has a daughter named Maretha Charles. Berniece works on her own to take care of her small family in the town of Pittsburgh. The main discussion in the play is the argument over the families’ piano with her brother, Boy Willie Charles. Berniece shows readers her different attitudes throughout the play about how her family piano makes her feel in a negative way, how it makes her feel in a positive way, and what the piano really means to her on a personal level....   [tags: widowed mother, Berniece Charles]

Strong Essays
1595 words (4.6 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis Of August Wilson 's ' The Piano Lesson ' Essay

- Throughout all genres of literature, authors are often trying to relay a message that has much more meaning than the literal words of the texts. August Wilson uses the genre of plays to allow his message to reach a large audience. In August Wilson’s play The Piano Lesson he uses symbols, characters, and diction to show the significance of black culture and history. August Wilson has always made it clear through interviews and his works the significance behind his plays. “Wilson 's task, one shared by many black American writers, is a simultaneously reactive/reconstructive engagement with the representation of blacks and the representation of history by the dominant culture” (Morales 105)....   [tags: African American, Black people]

Strong Essays
1927 words (5.5 pages)