To a person such as myself I tend to believe that freedom is in the mind and not as much a physical thing. Mainly because you can be shackled and imprisoned but they can never take away your dreams, hopes, thoughts and aspirations. Those will always remain with you no matter what occurs to an individual. With that said it can be said that Boy Charles did give his life for nothing, since we are all free in mind we need not the things of our past to tell us who we are or to give us direction in life.
On the night of the Fourth of July, 1911 is a night that never should have occurred in which the liberation of the piano from the hands of a white slave owner cost the life of Boy Charles. All that was lost for a piano seems worthless to me. The Piano had only sentimental value to Boy Charles and in the end he is the one who would not be able to enjoy it. He claimed it told his family history but it is he who could have passed down the family history through word of mouth.
Boy Charles should have realized he had the best of both worlds when he decided to steal that piano he was free in mind and body not just one or the other. He was a free black man free to do what ever he wanted in life whether it be to start a family or move to the north where opportunities where greater. He came to the uneventful conclusion that in order to be free he needed the piano, which he did not since we are living records of the past not a carved piano.
The theme of this novel seems to show the complexity of African American attitudes in the direction of their past but they must look to their future in order to advance and not keep looking back The piano seems to serve as a symbol for the legacy of their past, which brought the characters of this drama to this point in their lives. So it seems that Boy Charles life was perhaps not in vein but without his sacrifice it seems that his family may have never left the south in order to pursue a better life in Pittsburgh and have hope for the future.
So there seems to be valid points to Boy Charles actions but in the end it seems he should have chosen to leave the piano and escape the south with his life and freedom. There are more important things than pride in the world such as family and God. In which both of these can help you have a brighter future and make something of yourself, which is more than a piano could ever do.