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The Piano Lesson from American History

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2015, 28(1), pp.69-95
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Jeongsub Nam 1 이영미 1

1영남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The importance of land ownership is highlighted by Boy Willie who is the mouthpiece of August Wilson in his play The Piano Lesson. He emphasizes the historical and economic significance of the land where his ancestors toiled as slaves and which he can at last purchase from the white family who once owned his ancestors. African Americans’ quest for land ownership began right after the Emancipation but their hope was shattered as the federal government’s plan to redistribute the land in the South failed during the Reconstruction Era. The promise of “fort acres and a mule” was not fulfilled and the life of African Americans continued to be impoverished until and during the 1930s. Land ownership is a crucial pathway to economic independence and spiritual freedom, on the ground of which African Americans can cherish their culture and assure a promising future. This is the main message August Wilson provides through Boy Willie in his Piano Lesson.

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