The Piano Lesson

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The Piano Lesson The made for television movie, The Piano Lesson, is based on the eponymous play by August Wilson that seeks to analyze the significance of a piano to the Charles family. Through the course of the teleplay, it becomes evident that the piano is more than just a musical instrument and that it is, in fact, strongly tied to the Charles family and their ancestors. The Piano Lesson is a Southern Gothic play in which the living, as well as the dead, have a strong connection to the piano. The piano has a tragic origin that dates back generations. The piano was originally obtained by Robert Sutter who traded slaves for the instrument because he could not afford to purchase it outright. The piano was meant to be a gift for his wife, who coincidentally grew weary of the instrument and began to miss her slaves. In an attempt to quell her depression, Robert Sutter commissioned that the slaves' portraits be engraved in the piano; in addition to the slaves that were traded, the woodcarver also included their families and family histories. Because of the ties to slavery between the piano, the Sutters, and the Charles family, Berniece and Boy Charles came to believe that as long as the Sutters owned the piano, they would continue to own the Charles'. Due to this belief, the Charles' become obsessed with obtaining and owning the piano. During the course of trying to get the piano from the Sutters, the Charles' sacrificed much of themselves and caused many deaths.
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