A Raisin In The Sun Character Analysis

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In A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, thoughts of femininity and masculinity are woven throughout the play. The play is set in the 1950s, a time where racial tension still existed among black and white Americans even though segregation no longer existed. A Raisin in the Sun is about the Youngers, an African American family living in the slums of Chicago. The father has just passed away, and the family is about to receive an insurance check for $10,000. Each family member has his or her own idea as to how the money should be spent. Lena, also known as Mama, wants to buy a house in a white neighborhood; her son Walter wants to invest in a liquor store; and her daughter Beneatha wants to go to medical school. In Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, gender roles are revealed through the evolving characters inside the Younger family. The play represents strong female characters: the time-honored Mama, the supportive Ruth, and the reformist Beneatha. In The Roof of a Southern Home: A Reimagined and Usable South in Lorraine Hansberry 's a Raisin in the Sun William Murray writes, “Mama is a convincing spokesperson for the family’s Southern history, in large part, because she was familiar and seemed real to audiences while managing to avoid the dominant stereotypes that permeated the culture” (283). Both Mama and Ruth are praised for their devotion to traditional feminine standards with domestic jobs, marriages, and children while Beneatha is defiant
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