Is Aunt Ester real or an angel? How is she over 300 yrs old

gsenviro | Student

Aunt Ester is an elderly matriarch who makes an appearance in plays of August Wilson and is stated to be over 300 years old. In King Hedley II, she finally dies at an astonishing age of 366 years. She is a part of Wilson's 10-play long Pittsburgh Cycle, a story of black America throughout the twentieth century. 

A resident of 1839 Wylie Avenue, she is the community's adviser. As per her age in the play, she was born in 1619 or 1620 (the year coincides roughly with the time when the first ship containing African slaves reached the English colonies). Whether she's a real person or an angel is not precisely known. However, she is both the keeper and transmitter of African American memories. Her name suggests Easter, a christian holiday and also the biblical character of Queen Esther, celebrated for saving the Hebrew people. She serves as the link between the past and the present African Americans. It has also been suggested that she is not literally three centuries old, but rather a succession of folk priestesses (Vanessa German, "1832 Wylie Avenue", 2006).

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King Hedley II

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