The Piano Lesson

( 32 )

Overview

August Wilson has already given the American theater such spell-binding plays about the black experience in 20th-century America as Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Fences. In his second Pulitzer Prize-winner, The Piano Lesson, Wilson has fashioned his most haunting and dramatic work yet. At the heart of the play stands the ornately carved upright piano which, as the Charles family's prized, hard-won possession, has been gathering dust in the parlor of Berniece...
See more details below
Hardcover
$19.22
BN.com price
(Save 23%)$25.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (17) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $6.61   
  • Used (9) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

August Wilson has already given the American theater such spell-binding plays about the black experience in 20th-century America as Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Fences. In his second Pulitzer Prize-winner, The Piano Lesson, Wilson has fashioned his most haunting and dramatic work yet. At the heart of the play stands the ornately carved upright piano which, as the Charles family's prized, hard-won possession, has been gathering dust in the parlor of Berniece Charles's Pittsburgh home. When Boy Willie, Berniece's exuberant brother, bursts into her life with his dream of buying the same Mississippi land that his family had worked as slaves, he plans to sell their antique piano for the hard cash he needs to stake his future. But Berniece refuses to sell, clinging to the piano as a reminder of the history that is their family legacy. This dilemma is the real "piano lesson," reminding us that blacks are often deprived both of the symbols of their past and of opportunity in the present.

Set in 1936, The Piano Lesson is a powerful new play from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fences and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. A sister and brother fight over a piano that has been in the family for three generations, creating a remarkable drama that embodies the painful past and expectant future of black Americans.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559363006
  • Publisher: Theatre Communications Group
  • Publication date: 9/1/2007
  • Series: August Wilson Century Cycle
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 1,001,496
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

August Wilson is a major American playwright whose work has been consistently acclaimed as among the finest of the American theater. His first play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for best new play of 1984-85. His second play, Fences, won numerous awards for best play of the year, 1987, including the Tony Award, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. Joe Turner's Come and Gone, his third play, was also voted best play of 1987-88 by the New York Drama Critics' Circle. In 1990, Wilson was awarded his second Pulitzer Prize for The Piano Lesson.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2004

    Not too Shabby

    I quite enjoyed this book.... IT's full of meaning probably deeper than I'd care to ananlyze... but it was good and I reccomend it to others.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 11, 2009

    Nominal theme of denial Dciraula

    The nominal theme I have chosen for both The Piano Lesson and The Crucible is denial. I believe that this theme has meaning for both stories.
    In The Piano Lesson, Boy Willie wants to sell the one-hundred and thirty seven year old piano for land. Bernice however wants to keep the piano. She refuses to let her brother touch the symbolic piano which has been in their family's history for over a century. She believes if the piano is sold, then the spirits who haunt the emblematic piano will increase rage upon their family by haunting them forever. Boy Willie doesn't particularly care about the spirits who haunt the piano; he wants to make his "mark" on the world. If he can sell the piano he will be able to buy land where he can make a living. He believes that their family can start over and produce new history. Bernice on the other hand thinks that if the piano is sold then their history will be lost forever. The theme of denial is seen through both Boy Willie and Bernice. Bernice is denying her brother to sell or even touch their exemplary piano. Boy Willie is being denying land by Doaker who is waiting for the piano Boy Willie is willing to sell for his land.
    In The Crucible Reverend Parris wants to keep his reputation respectable after the town of Salem finds out that his daughter Betty is caught dancing and shouting out profanity. Many people begin to believe that she is haunted and is deemed a witch. Reverend Parris does not care that people think of his daughter as a witch but only that his reputation be kept upright. On the other hand, Abigail Williams does not care about the truth; she only desires power and revenge. She begins to take out the people who she holds a grudge against including, John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor, Betty, Tituba and others in the town. Another character John Proctor dies as a martyr. He believes that the court system needs to be changed and innocent people are dying. People who they once respected are now charged with witchcraft which causes hysteria. In the Puritan Society they preach God and demons. You either praise God or worship the devil. It is one way or another and Abigail used their society for the worst. The nominal theme of denial is shown throughout the entire novel not just through these characters. Throughout the entire event of the Witchcraft Trials denial and hysteria is seen.
    Denial is seen through both The Piano Lesson and The Crucible. Sometimes denial is o.k. but in both these cases denial is seen as a ghastly thing. It makes people uptight and panic. Through the characters of Boy Willie, Bernice, and all of the citizens of Salem, denial is a perfect theme.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    gfennell review

    The Crucible and the Piano Lesson both show characteristics of oppression trough out the stories.
    In the crucible a group of Girls led by Abigail gain some type of power. They started to accuse people of being witches. Abigail accused Elizabeth, because Abigail had an affair with her husband John, and Elizabeth fired Abigail because of the affair. So Abigail blamed Elizabeth just like in the Piano Lesson. Bernice blamed Willie for her husband's death and would not let him take the piano.
    Back to the Crucible people were being put to death for actions that they never did. The Judge was in charge and he oppressed people so he would not lose his power. Just like in the Piano lesson. Bernice and Willie always refer back to their parents who were slaves. Their Grandparents had no life to themselves. They were always oppressed by their masters. They were worth nothing to their masters. The grandparents were traded for a piano. They were nothing to their master. The master had all the power over his slaves.
    Another way there was oppression in the books were the truth was never let out. If the truth was let out people would be humiliated and lose their power. In the crucible the judges would not let the accused be free, because if they did the judges would lose all credibility. Some people were already put to death for stuff they did not do and if they let the accused go then all they people were put to death for nothing. Just like in the Piano lesson Bernice could not see that Willie was not responsible for her husband's death. She did not want to see the truth.
    The Crucible and the Piano Lesson show all throughout the book that they show oppression. People could not do what they wanted to do for fear of someone to oppress them. There was always someone high in power that did not want to give up their power and the way they held their power was to oppress everyone around so they were in control.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    K.Gardner Summer Reading

    The Piano Lesson and The Awakening were the two books that I read this summer. These two books both took place in America though they dealt with two different time periods and types of people. Both these books can relate to the theme of the American dream. The American dream can consist of different aspects of life. One such dream could consist of wanting land, freedom, and love, this is the dream that relates to these two books.
    The first aspect is the American dream for wanting land, which most people do want to own themselves. Wanting land came up in both of these books. In The Piano Lesson Boy Willie, one of the main characters wanted to buy land that he could own. The land he wanted belonged to a man named Sutter, he died, and the land that he used to own had been worked by Boy Willie's family in the slave days. Boy Willie was trying to find ways to earn money and save up to buy this land. Boy Willie wanted to buy the land that his family worked on and build a name for him-self. Just as Boy Willie wanted his own land Edna Pontellier from, The Awakening, wanted her own land as well, but for a different reason. Edna wanted to get away from her family and the land that her husband owned, and she saved up her money and bought an apartment to live in. Both these characters wanted their own land, to own something that was their own, this is an American dream. By getting land also gets you freedom which is the next aspect for these books.
    Freedom is another aspect of life that is an American dream, people do not want to be controlled, they want to be free. In The Piano Lesson, Bernice, the main character was bound by her past in the piano that she owned. Bernice may not have realized that she was bound by her past but she was, because she would not move on and she would never touch her piano. Bernice was haunted by her past as Sutter's ghost kept showing up at her house. Bernice was able to conquer her past when she played the piano and Sutter's ghost finally vanished for the last time. Bernice was set free when she played the piano and she gained her freedom back. In The Awakening, Edna also wanted to gain freedom, but again it was for a different reason. Edna wanted freedom from her family and from society. Edna left her husband and basically abandoned her children with a family member, which gave her the freedom that she wanted from her family. Edna gained freedom from society by ignoring those except her close friends, which is social suicide and that way she gained freedom from her society. Freedom is another aspect in the American dream. However, freedom can leave you lonely and another part of the American dream is love.
    Love is something that most people probably look for in their life, there are many movies and books that are about love, it is another aspect in the American dream. In The Piano Lesson, Bernice was unable to love after her mother and her husband died. Bernice loved her family of course but it was different, she was unhappy in a way. Bernice had again locked up her love in the piano and set it free when she played the piano again. Bernice unlocked her love. In The Awakening, Edna was looking for love because she did not love her husband and her children and the man she loved did not love her in return and Edna killed herself because her love denied her. These two novels both relate to finding love, which is another part of the American dream.
    In my opinion the American dream consists of land, freedom and

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    TBerexa

    Tommy Berexa
    Denial is everywhere and we may or may not know it. The two books "The Crucible", and "The Piano Lesson" show the reader some examples of it. In the "The Crucible" they deny people, their faith, death, and in "The Piano Lesson" they deny things they love, family, and the piano.
    In the Crucible the first appearance of denial within the story is how they would turn in people that they thought were witches. This shows denial, because they were singling out people, calling them witches, and they had no true evidence that they were actually witches or even if they existed. In the piano lesson Bernice started out by playing the piano a lot in her earlier years, but when her family passed away she would not play it. No matter how hard her brother pushed her she would not play it again. Another form of denial from the piano lesson is how the uncle was such a good piano player, but he never used his talents in order to be successful; he would rather be a drunk. Another example of denial in the crucible was when John Proctor told the court that he was performing witch craft in order to save his own life. This relates to denial, because he is denying everything he believes in, such as his good life etc, in order to keep his falsely accused wife safe. The second example in the piano lesson is where Boy Williams is denying everything his sister is saying. Boy Williams only cares about getting money, and does not realize that the piano is such a big part of their lives. He continues to deny his sister by saying he is going to take the piano and get his money, but in the end after the ghost goes away he realizes they need to keep that piano.
    At the end of the crucible the townspeople realize that, because of their own denial they killed many innocent lives. They were not thinking clearly which caused them to go into denial of all accused witches. By them acting this way it caused fear, and sadness throughout the colony. They knew that they had made a mistake, and did not want to hear or remember it ever again. The end of the piano lesson has a very special meaning. A ghost was haunting there house, and terrifying the family. Bernice realized that by denying the piano brought forth the ghost. She then began to play the piano; because she knew by doing this everything would be ok. The ghost then went away and the family was happy in the end. The meanings of this is when you really love something you should never deny it no matter what happened to it, but rather continue to do the thing that you love the most, in her case play the piano.
    Denial runs deep in these books, though we many not know it at first, but after we think about it we soon realize it. Denial is a good strategy used to bring the reader into the book, because the reader is going to want to know if it continues throughout the whole book. In some cases it does, but most of the time there is a good meaning at the end of the book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Freedom in Wilson and Miller by E. Scanga

    Freedom is a commonly shared theme in both The Piano Lesson by August Wilson and The Crucible by Arthur Miller. In the The Piano Lesson, the piano is very symbolic of the lack of freedom had by past generations. Also, Berniece and Boy Willie each have their freedom to express how they felt about the piano. In The Crucible, the strict rules in the town do not allow much room for freedom. When the girls, misuse what little freedom they do have, there are big consequences for the rest of the town.
    In The Piano Lesson, the antique piano has a deeply sentimental value to Berniece. The piano was fought for by her ancestors and the poignant pictures on the piano were hand-carved by her great-grandfather. The symbolism of the piano reminds Berniece the struggles that past generations had to endure and the lack of freedom that they possessed. Both Berniece and Boy Willie use their freedom of speech to try to get their way with the piano. Berniece expresses her strong opposition to Boy Willie's plan to sell the piano for his own personal gains. Boy Willie, however, claims that he owns half of the piano and he has the freedom to sell it to buy land if he chooses to do so.
    The religious laws in Salem, Massachusetts restrict a lot of freedom in The Crucible. When Abigail and the other girls are caught dancing, singing, and chanting around in the woods, they are accused of witchcraft and put on trial. In the courtroom, these girls misuse their freedom of speech to accuse many innocent townsfolk of witchcraft also. The immature girls want to draw attention to other people in order to keep the scrutiny off of themselves. Because of the wild accusations made by these juvenile girls, the supposed "witches" were thrown in jail. While in jail, the townspeople lost all of the little remaining freedom that they had.
    Despite the significant differences between these two books, there was a common theme of freedom. In The Piano Lesson, the freedom and history that the piano represented was extremely sentimental, while in The Crucible, the misuse of freedom led to disastrous consequences for the entire town.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Piano Lesson/ Crucible Synthesis by A Shipley

    The novels The Piano Lesson and The Crucible had more in common than the fact that they were both plays. Both novels had a central theme that connected one another. The theme of loyalty or conviction is strong in both novels.
    In The Piano Lesson, the piano represents the struggles that the family went through to achieve freedom. There is a struggle in the book caused by conflict between family ties and greed. This is an underlying struggle at first, but then becomes obvious during the climax when it manifests into physical violence. The scene in which this happens is when Boy Willie is thrown down the stairs by a spirit protecting the piano. This is where the two sides come together, and the struggle is ended. Both sides showed determination and loyalty to themselves or their goals. Boy Willie shows loyalty to his cause of buying land and living his dream. He is determined to sell his sisters piano to get the money needed to buy the land. His conviction becomes visible when he tries to take the piano and it will not move. He tries using tools and ropes, but it remains stuck to the ground. His sister shows conviction or loyalty to the piano. She is so loyal to her families' history that she threatens her brother with a gun to protect the piano. This scene shows her conviction towards keeping the piano no matter what.
    In the Crucible, the theme of determination or loyalty is more obvious. I believe that the girls accused of witchcraft were lying, so the fact that they continued to act as if they were possessed shows strong conviction and loyalty to each other. One scene where this is apparent is the scene in which Abigail is talking to an imaginary bird in the courthouse. She does not give up her act, showing conviction until she achieves her goal. The other girls show loyalty as well. When they are trying to convince the town that Mercy is the one possessing them, they all repeat whatever she says. The girls show loyalty to each other, and all of the girls are loyal to Abby. Mercy shows conviction when she tries to frame Goody Proctor by giving her a doll that had a needle in it, and then sticking a needle into her own body. The fact that she is willing to put herself in physical pain shows how loyal she is to her friends.
    The Piano Lesson and The Crucible are both connected by the central theme of loyalty or conviction. The characters in both novels are loyal to something, whether it is themselves, their friends, or their family history. Each character is totally committed to their cause and will do anything to meet their goals.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 11, 2009

    The Piano Lesson sbelkot

    Spencer Belkot
    Hon. English 11
    9/10/09
    Pd.1
    Summer Reading Essay


    In the books The Piano Lesson and The Awakening main character such as: Edna from The Piano Lesson and Berniece from The Awakening both experience an internal sense of a shared theme, freedom.
    The Piano Lesson was the only play that was publish and even recognized by this author. This exquisite piece of literature not only teaches many morals and truths but teaches one powerful theme, freedom. The Piano Lesson overall is a play written about a family trying to get rid of a single piano. While some individuals want to dispose of the piano all of them have memories, fond or not, of the piano. Berniece, a person who I consider to be the main character in this book, experiences her fair share of freedom, along with many other characters in the book.
    One specific example of freedom in this book is when the ghost of Mr. Sutter leaves the house. Mr. Sutter almost "haunted" the house in which Berniece and her family lived. The ghost leaves the house once Berniece experiences another example of the theme freedom. The second example of freedom is freedom from fear. Berniece feared playing the piano because of the memories it brought back of her mother. Near the end of the book the ghost of Mr. Sutter arrives. Realizing the turmoil the family is taking, Berniece goes to the piano, concurs her fear, and plays a certain song that "defeats" the ghost, and because of this the ghost never returns. The final example of the piano lesson and the example of freedom is the piano itself. The piano was bought by Mr. Sutter for one and a half slaves. This just shows that at the time in which the piano was bought a musical instrument could be bought with people. The piano gave the family relief and a sense of calmness once played. The music, the melody brought relief to the player when they played the instrument.
    The second book that was read was The Awakening where the main character, Edna experiences a complete and utter change.
    The first example of the theme freedom in this book is freedom of expression. Before meeting Adele, Edna was no more than a classic housewife. Through the time and memories they spent together, Edna began to express herself, speak her mind and be the woman she wanted to be. A second example of freedom is freedom from her husband. Over the summer Edna spends time with Adele and realizes that she loves him over time. She comes the conclusion that she no longer loves her husband, but has now turned around the loved another man. No more is she linked to her husband, but is loving the man that she truly loves. The final example of freedom in this book is freedom while swimming. In the end of the book Edna goes out to the ocean and swims out until she dies. She commits suicide at this point, but in my opinion she felt free while she was doing it.
    The Piano Lesson and The Awakening while two different books and two different plots and characters, both share one sense of a powerful theme, freedom.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2009

    The American Dream Theam. The Piano Lesson and The Awakening

    The American Dream could be a variety of things to different people however, when relating books to the American dream I thought that freedom, land, and love would be the best three choices.
    Freedom is one thing that I think mainly represents the American dream. Land is also big part in being American and living the American Dream. Ever since white males were allowed to purchase land, owning property is a huge aspect of who we are today. Last is love I believe that loving all these things and being an American truly does make it the American Dream. In the Piano Lesson I think that a good example of the land and how it is an important part of experiencing the American dream would be when Boy Willie or Willie wanted to sell his families piano and use the money to buy Sutter's land that his past family or ancestors worked on. An example of the freedom would be a great example in this novel. It talked about how this piano represented the bondage to the family that owned them; therefore this piano was a huge part of their freedom. When it was stolen back they felt as if their bondage was broken. Freedom is the basis of all Americans, so I thought freedom was a huge part in this book. Last would be love, I think that love runs throughout this whole book. I think the love of their family and the love of the piano in general is a big part of the story. The piano represents the love of their family heritage. It is who they are and what they have left of their family when dealing with slavery. All three make up this book and the symbolism it represents. In the Awakening; freedom, love, and land come in very different ways. In this book freedom had a few different meanings. The one I thought appropriate was the freedom that Adele had in the beginning. Her character had the freedom to express herself; she was very open and able to share her urges and independence. The other freedom I was thinking of was the freedom Edna had when she committed suicide. That freedom she had from her husband, kids, and society was a huge part that was let go when she made that final decision to commit suicide. The American Dream also represented love. The love connection I made was between Edna, Léonce, and Robert. Edna obviously wasn't happy with her life or the fact that society's eye on her. She was in love with both her husband Léonce and her secret love Robert who left her in the end. The last one is land; I believe the American Dream of land was also presented a different way. I think that land separated the connections people had. It was land that separated Edna from her husband Léonce and also land that separated her from her secret love Robert.
    In conclusion both books had the American Dream. In the end the American Dream came out with the same conclusions. It is something different for every person or character and it is what you do that makes your dreams come true.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    RHanahan Loyalty in piano lesson and awakening

    The two books I read this summer are the "Piano Lesson", and "The Awakening". Even though both of these books are very different they share one thing, this one thing is a common theme. The common theme the stories both share is loyalty. In both stories the theme of loyalty is used and seen often by the reader.
    In the book the "Piano Lesson", loyalty is used a lot to deal with the family and the piano. Berniece show lots of loyalty to the piano because it has been in their family for many years and is very special to the family. Because Berniece is so loyal to the piano it makes it very hard for the rest of the characters to move the piano out of the house. Another example of loyalty in this story is Sutter's ghost that haunts the piano. Sutter's ghost haunts the piano and will not leave it because it is special to him. The main reason the family wants to move the piano out of the house is because of the ghost who is haunting it. If the Sutter's ghost wasn't so loyal to the piano the family would not have a problem moving it out. One more example of loyalty is Boy Wille, who is moving the piano out of the house. This shows loyalty because Boy Wille's plan is to move the piano out and sell it and then use the money to buy his ancestors land. This shows loyalty because he is doing whatever it takes for his dream to come true and is staying loyal to his plan even though his family does not want him to do it. Even though both books share the common theme of loyalty "The Awakening" shows loyalty in the opposite way.
    The story "The Awakening" shares the common theme of loyalty with the "Piano Lesson". However, the way loyalty is showed in "The Awakening" is completely different then the way it is showed in "Piano Lesson". In the book "The Awakening", loyalty is used a lot to deal with relationships among the characters. One example of loyalty has to deal with Edna and her husband. Edna does not stay loyal to him and leaves him because she is in love with another man. Another example of loyalty is Robert's promise to write letters to Edna while he is away. Robert does not stay loyal to his promise to Edna because he never writes a letter to her while he is away. One more example of loyalty in "The Awakening", once again deals with Edna and Robert. Both Edna and Robert fall in love but one day Edna finds a letter. The letter says that Robert is leaving Edna again because he loves her. This shows that Robert is not loyal to Edna because he is leaving her even though he has told her he loves her.
    In the story "Piano Lesson" and "The Awakening" they both share the common theme of loyalty. Even though both stories share the theme of loyalty; both stories show loyalty in a different way. In both books loyalty is used and seen often by the reader.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2009

    BCALVIN loyalty in the piano lesson and the crucible

    I believe that the summer reading books "The Piano Lesson, and The Crucible" shared the theme of loyalty.
    In The Crucible, even though there was very little loyalty in the book, the theme was still being loyal to others it acts as reverse psychology. Throughout the novel, people were accusing each other of using witchcraft. This is not being loyal, and it just caused a bunch of problems throughout the book. Another reason is that John Proctor and Abigail were having an affair, which was disloyal to Elizabeth. This caused rivalries between Elizabeth and Abigail. Another example in the crucible was that everybody in the town was loyal to god, except John Proctor. While everybody was at church, John Proctor would be plowing his field.
    In the Piano Lesson, there was a lot of loyalty. The first example is that Berniece was very loyal to the piano, no matter what Boy Willie offered her she would not give up the piano. She took care of that piano by polishing and never using it. Another example was that Berniece was also loyal to her ancestors. If she just gave up the piano, it would be disloyal to her ancestors; after all they did for that piano. She even thought that it would be bad to even play it. Another example, was at the end Boy Willie was loyal to Berniece, by instead of selling the piano, he let Berniece keep it. Boy Willie gave up the money for the land, just so he can be loyal to Berniece and his ancestors.
    When you look deep into these books, I believe they show a lot about loyalty. The Crucible used reverse psychology I think, it showed that being disloyal caused a lot of problems. In the Piano Lesson it showed that being loyal was more important than money.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Piano Lesson vs. The Crucible by G. Lawrence

    The Crucible and The Piano Lesson have many similarities, but the main theme that they share is freedom. Freedom does not only mean to be free but to get away and have a feeling of safety.
    The Crucible has many aspects of freedom. The book took place in Salem, Massachusetts when the witchcraft problem was going on. Many people had to gain freedom from being falsely accused. In the book, Tituba and other girls were dancing and "worshiping to the devil" in the forest. When they were spotted they were accused of being witches. Those girls should have the freedom to do what they want to do. In the end of The Crucible, there was a family, called the Proctors, which were falsely accused of witchcraft. The Proctors had to gain freedom away from the court and the town's people. They never did get free and Mr. Proctor was hanged.
    The next book is the Piano lesson which also has many aspects of freedom. The book is about a family of African Americans, living in the early 1900s, trying to gain freedom for themselves. The main character, Boy Whillie, is trying to get a farm but he does not have enough money. If Boy Whillie sells the piano he will have enough money to buy the farm and become free. Boy Whillie has to fight for the piano with his sister. His sister, Bernice, wants the piano because it belonged to her family when they were freed from slavery. That gives Bernice a feeling of freedom by holding on to the piano that belonged to her father. Another aspect of freedom in the Piano Lesson is Sutter's ghost. Sutter's ghost is in the piano trying to become free. Sutter's ghost eventually becomes free when Bernice's boyfriend exercises the house.
    The Crucible and the Piano Lesson have many aspects that are shared. Both books share the feeling of Freedom. The main characters throughout both books try to gain freedom for themselves and their family.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Review

    The two books I read were the Piano Lesson and the Awakening. I think that loyalty was a common theme displayed throughout both books, but it was used differently throughout both books.
    Loyalty was a theme in the Piano Lesson, and the book used loyalty in a positive way. I think that it is a theme because Berniece was being loyal to herself and to her parents by not selling the piano. When her brother, little Willy, wanted to sell the piano for extra money she did not let him. She told him no because she had so many great memories with the piano. She also explained that the piano was once their parents, and it brings back good memories of them. I also feel that little Willy was loyal to himself as well. He told himself that he was going to make as much money as he can so he can buy that land. When he wanted to sell the piano he went out of his way to try to sell it. Although his sister's reasons not to sell it made sense to him he stuck to his word and tried to sell it anyway. Finally, the book shows the ghost being loyal to the piano. The members of the family tried to get the ghost to go away, but the ghost wouldn't. He was being loyal to the piano. As much as the family tried, the ghost never left.
    Loyalty was also a theme in the Awakening, and the book used loyalty in a negative way. Edna was not being loyal to her husband when she left him. When they got married she vowed to stay with him for the rest of her life, but she didn't. That is one negative showing of loyalty in the book. Another example of this is when Robert said he would write to Edna. Robert said he would write to Edna when he left for Mexico, but he never did. He sent other people letters and even talked about Edna in those letters, but he never sent one to Edna herself. This is another negative example of loyalty. Finally, Robert said that he loved Edna. He said this and still left her. Robert gave Edna hope and everything, but he turned around and he ended up not being true to his word. This made Edna drown herself in the ocean later in the book.
    The Piano Lesson and the Awakening are two books that show and use loyalty. The Piano Lesson uses loyalty in a positive way, and the Awakening uses it in a negative way. Both of these books use loyalty in different ways, and that is what makes these two books unique.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    L.Sundo The Piano Lesson Review

    The Piano Lesson and The Awakening are two different books written during two different time periods but one nominal theme holds true to both. Loyalty applies fully to both works and shows its importance in many different ways.
    The 137 year old piano in The Piano Lesson is a symbol of a major theme in the story. What to do with one's legacy. What Bernice and Willie plan to do with the piano shows loyalty in two different ways. Bernice wants to keep the piano. This shows loyalty to her ancestors by relating to the piano as if having the "family's blood" on it. She relates many memories of Mama Ola cleaning the piano every day. Willie wants to sell the piano to acquire land down south, and shows loyalty to his father and to his dream of becoming equal to the white man. Willie's father never could do anything to make something of himself. For Willie to buy this land would prove that Willie can make his mark on the world. By buying the land from the Sutters, which once owned his family as slaves, also raises him up in society. The men in this story are also loyal to music because it is a connection to their past. We see Doaker relate an old railroad song and the other men sing a song about the Parchman Prison Farm. These songs show their loyalty to their past as well as relating it to the struggle between blacks and whites.
    The Awakening shows loyalty through three characters. These conflicting characters include Edna, Adele, and Robert. Edna is loyal to her dream which is to become an individual. She gives up all her materialistic possessions to live in the "pigeon house" and openly shows her disregard for her children and husband to do what's right for her. Adele on the other hand is the symbol of the Victorian woman who shows loyalty to her husband and children. Edna contrasts herself to Adele which is part of her "awakening". Robert shows loyalty to Edna due to his ongoing love for her. In the end though, his loyalty to the rules of society prevent him from acting more on his love and this in turn contributes to Edna's solitude which leads to her suicide.
    As you can see loyalty is a common theme that is apparent throughout both The Piano Lesson and The Awakening. Each example of loyalty contributes to the central ideas of the novels and makes them the great works they are today.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2009

    S. Szewcow Freedom in crucible and piano lesson

    Freedom was a predominant theme in the summer reading novels. It sums up the true feelings and helps you understand the Crucible and the Piano Lesson. In the Crucible, Freedoms were an issue. The people had their freedoms taken away when they were accused of witchcraft. Also, because of that when they were tried they had no way of showing that they were not witches. At the end the people were killed because of these same reasons. If they were given a fair chance to prove that the girls were faking it I feel not many at all would have been killed in Salem.
    Freedom was portrayed very differently in the Piano lesson. In the piano lesson freedom was proved by the piano being taken away from the former owner's land which the characters felt was theirs. When the farmer was killed, his ghost seemed to not be able to be free from the piano which was stolen from him years before. In the end, the ghost was only freed by the playing of the piano by one of the main characters who would not play it for years. This gives us the title the Piano Lesson. Both sides at some point felt their freedoms were not taken care of. The slaves were obviously slaves till they were freed and the farmer felt it was his piano even though one of the slaves had carved it.
    Freedoms are a huge part of current life and have always been. These stories give you the true feeling of how people can feel they are getting their freedoms or not. You could get your freedoms taken away like false accusation or your piano being stolen. You may even get a freedom like a freedom from life or a freedom from slavery. In all, these were fantastic books which make you think about how life was different years before and how they did not have the freedoms that we are privileged to have in America today.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Freedom as a Theme in Chopin and Wilson ABoroch

    I believe that both of the novels I read have a form of freedom in them because of what the characters desire, want, and need. Every character in the two books has freedom to do what they want.
    In the Piano Lesson, Bernice uses her freedom to keep the piano in her home. She wanted it there in her house and she had the freedom to keep it. Boy Willy had the freedom to take the piano because it was a part of their family's history. Both Boy Willy and Bernice had the freedom to do what they wanted with the piano even though they didn't agree and argued about it throughout the entire book.
    The Piano Lesson also shows the freedom to do whatever you want. Boy Willy wanted to sell his half of the piano or the whole thing to earn money for land. He even sold watermelons to raise money. Bernice had her say in what happened to it because she has the freedom of speech and the ability to choose what happens. Bernice wanted to keep it because of her family's history and how some of her family members carved pictures into it. The two siblings argued over it the entire book and how they didn't want each other to have it. They had their freedom and they both tried to stop each other.
    In the Awakening, Edna feels trapped in her own body. She wants the ability to be free and do whatever she wants. She showed her freedom when she moved out of her house even though her husband told her not to. In the beginning of the book, Edna wanted to be free from her husband. He didn't understand Edna at all and it made Edna very upset about how she did all of the work. She wanted freedom from him so she could be with Robert or whomever she wanted. Edna wanted to marry or have relationships with the other guys. Once she moved out she had that freedom. Edna was free to show her feelings.
    Both of these books show how the characters want and desire the freedom to do whatever they choose. All of the characters had their freedom to do what they wanted whether other people liked it or not.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Wilson's The Piano Lesson and Miller's The Crucible character analysis-not review- (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS). B. Gentzel

    The Piano Lesson and The Crucible both share one common theme of identity as The Piano Lesson shows different views on a piano and the Crucible shows how different people react when in a tough situation.
    In the Piano Lesson, a brother and a sister fight over a piano. The piano is most regarded for its drawing which are of a woman's slaves. It held great sentimental and monetary value. Boy Willie wanted to sell it. As he emphasized many times: he has one part, they'll sell watermelons for the second part, and then the piano pays for the third part so he can buy land. He became a person who focused on earning money. However, brothers and sisters are often regarded as opposites. This holds true. While Boy Willie wants to sell it, Berniece wants to keep it (even though she never uses it). Her identity is one concerned with sentimental objects. Finally, you have Boy Willie's partner Lymon who insists on separating (forming his own identity) and staying so he can meet girls. All three have an individual identity focusing on one thing: money, sentiments, and women.
    At the end of The Crucible, John Proctor forms his own identity. He was accused of being a witch (when he and the reader both know he isn't). He has two options: admit to being in cahoots with Satan or die. He admits to it. He is then asked to sign a paper saying he admitted. He refuses. He knew that if he signed that, it would state "John Proctor is a witch" to all who read it. This would destroy who he is. He would become someone else. Many others had went that path and survived (while others accepted death). He decided to not defile his name and be the real John Proctor by refusing to sign. Those who decided to 'admit' witchcraft lost their identity that day. They lied about who they are and became what they admitted to being by saying they did. Finally, Abby and her friends changed their identity as they started the accusing of witchcraft. Before that day, they were regular girls. They lived their own way. After that though, they became known as people who accuse of witchcraft and nothing more.
    Everyone has one's own identity which is changed and defined by actions. When one chooses to either do or not do something, one is remembered differently. Berniece chose to focus on sentimental things, Boy Willie on monetary things, and Lymon on women. John Proctor chose to keep his identity and not be remembered as 'another witch,' those who admitted changed their identities to 'witches,' and the girls chose to become selfish people who accuse other of witchcraft. Through these actions, the individuals change their respective identities for better or for worse.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    BTaylor Loyalty in the Piano Lesson and The Crucible

    Loyalty divinely connected both The Crucible and The Piano Lesson through direct occasions when characters had to boldly live faithfully and listen to their soul for direction.
    Betsy in The Crucible was condemned of witchcraft and her father, Parris a local minister showed a strong loyalty not only to his parish but also to his inner soul. He calmed the wondering crowd gathered in his house and loyal to trust, expressed his true knowledge of the witchcraft actions. In addition, Hall was hired for his specialties in identifying witchcraft to inspect Betsy for possible traits of being a witch. He acted quickly and with loyalty to provide an accurate and honest explanation of Betsy's condition. He was loyal to his knowledge and didn't change his findings for the specific circumstance. Near the end of the Crucible, John who had previously confessed as being a part of witchcraft, later he stood up and pleaded not guilty. This is a strong example of loyalty because he felt loyal to not incriminate anyone else and retracted being guilty. Here, he not only saves his own life from being hung but was loyal to others who were dependent upon his decision and was loyal to his soul by living faithfully and honest.
    In the piano lesson, Robert Sutter who had lived many generations before during slavery had Willie Boy carve family faces into the piano, being loyal to his wife and anniversary by understanding their deep connections with the slaves. In this example, Sutter was loyal to his past, present and future by making a "foot-print" of themselves knowing that someday a future generation will look back and realize how important the piano was to many generations of Americans. Near the end of the play Avery who felt strongly of keeping the piano begun playing the piano in a song expressing loyalty to those who lived before her as ancestors and their spirits that thrived within the piano. She felt loyal to the previous ancestors and therefore played so the piano would no longer be bound by the past ghosts and freed of burdens. Finally, Boy Willie came to visit his long lost sister and his other family members who he hadn't seen in three years due to a prison sentence, he regained loyalty to his family. He felt that by selling watermelons and possibly the piano, he could purchase Sutter's land that the slaves used to work on. Not only did he feel loyal to his sister being that he is her brother, but also loyal to the man-kind that lived in slavery before his time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Freedom in Wilson and Chopin by K.Morris

    The Awakening and The Piano Lesson both involve characters in search of freedom, going out of their way in order to be free and failing to receive freedom.

    In The Piano Lesson, freedom was a very important theme that was shown throughout the book. Boy Willie, the main character, and his friend Lymon came to Pittsburgh for freedom. Where they came from, Lymon was in trouble with the police, so he planned to stay in Pittsburgh in order to be free. Boy Willie mentioned several times throughout the novel that whites are no better than he is. I think that his ultimate wish was to be treated equal to whites, despite his skin color. In other words, he wanted to be free. In The Awakening, Edna was also searching for freedom. She no longer wanted to be a part of a relationship that she was not interested in. Instead, she wanted to be an independent woman. She did not put up with Leónce, her husband, like most women of the time would do.

    Clearly, both Boy Willie and Edna wanted freedom more than anything else. However, they did not just sit around and let their lives pass them by. They both went out of their way in order to achieve freedom. Boy Willie knew that his sister, Berniece, did not want to sell their piano, however he continued to attempt to sell it. This caused many disputes between the two of them. At one point, Berniece almost shot him. Edna, like Boy Willie, also did unimaginable things in order to become free. She left her home and moved into a new one by herself. In present times, that is not such a big deal, however back in those days, women did not typically leave their husbands. Not only did she leave him, but she also left her children and barely thought twice about it.
    In the end, neither of the characters ended up being free. Boy Willie did not get to sell the piano. He realized how powerful the piano was, therefore agreed to let Berniece keep it. If he would have sold it, he would have been able to purchase Sutter's land and earn as much money as whites. Edna tried hard to get Robert to love her, but she failed to get him. She ended up committing suicide to escape from her problems rather than gaining freedom.

    Freedom was a very important theme in both of these novels. The entire novels involved characters that were in search of freedom. However, neither of them succeeded.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    OPPRESSION IN PIANO LESSON

    Oppression was one of the main themes in this year's summer reading books. In The Piano Lesson oppression is shown through the issue of skin color and slavery. Fahrenheit 451 showed oppression through almost forbidding the sharing of ideas and more or less destroying any creativity.
    The Piano Lesson really shows oppression through the issues of skin color and trying to work out of slavery. This is shown throughout the story but one of the main instances is when you find out that Boy Willie still works for the family that owned his grandfather. This shows that after they left slavery they weren't left with anything. Oppression is also shown when Boy Charles is said to have developed an obsession over the piano, when he goes to steal it back from the Sutters, instead of being arrested he is killed by a mob.
    Fahrenheit 451 is another book where oppression is a main theme. This book showed oppression through banning books and basically the sharing of ideas and individuality. An example of oppression is when Guy Montag goes to burn down one house, the woman who lives there won't let the fireman burn down the house, instead she burns herself and the books so she can die with them. Another example of oppression is that there is no individuality because everyone has been brainwashed into believing the same things. Everyone just sits around and watches TV and works, but no one will take time to really look around outside and see the beauty of the world. The last example of oppression is the banning of books. This is taken very seriously and when Guy tries to copy books and the firemen learn about it. They even try to track him down and kill him.
    Oppression seemed to be a main theme in both of these books. They were entirely different kinds but they both limited what people were allowed to do.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)