The Piano Lesson By Honore De Balzac Essay

1049 Words Dec 8th, 2014 5 Pages
French novelist and playwright Honore de Balzac once said, “Equality may perhaps be a right, but no power on earth can ever turn it into a fact.” Racism in America between 1877 to the 1930’s was an example of Balzac’s words. Although African Americans deserved to be equal socially and politically, reality showed them that the White man will always be racist. If they ever tasted success, it would be met with more racial hardships. In The Piano Lesson the fictional character’s represent the African American society at the time, and the larger problems they faced. Examples of social deterioration by Whites and reforms to introduce political inferiority are found throughout the book. August Wilson’s play, The Piano Lesson, exemplifies a lack of social and political progress, through examples of racial inequality and forms of political injustice such as Jim Crow laws. Social progress was a struggle for African Americans, although they saw glimpses of success at times, ultimately they were unable to reasonably progress by 1930. In the Piano Lesson, many examples of a lack of social progress are given but one stands out, as Wilson highlights in his play when Doaker is explaining the history of the Charles family and he says, “… [Robert Sutter] asked Mr. Nolander to see if maybe he could trade off some of is niggers for that piano.” (Wilson 42). Though the phrase “nigger” sounds alarming in the present times, it was a commonly used derogatory term at the time, signifying a lack…

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