Beneatha In A Raisin In The Sun

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Hardships and trials help to shape, mold, and create characters in stories, this is evident within the play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. Hansberry’s assertive character, Beneatha, connects to the messages from classic Motown songs of the time period such as: inequality, identity, and respect. These songs sing of some characteristics and problems Beneatha holds.
Through the soulful sound of Nina Simone’s song, “Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free”, a cry for equality is heard that is similar to the one from Beneatha in A Raisin in the Sun. Hansberry's play is set in the 1950s and incorporates the social issues prevalent with in the time such as gender roles which helps to create an underlying theme that Beneatha struggles against in this story. Beneatha wants to be free to live how she wants and to be heard which resonates with Simone’s
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(Franklin 3-6)
From this snippet of her song she makes known about how she has what it takes to make it in this world and is worthy of respect so because of this she should receive it. What can also be inferred from this song is that the audience Franklin is singing out to is not giving it to her properly. This ‘loud’ behavior and this plight is seen throughout A Raisin in the Sun as Beneatha tries to make her family and her love interests understand these messages from “Respect”. Throughout this story Beneatha’s brother Walter and her fight as she tries to stand up for herself and her beliefs as seen in the following exchange:
BENEATHA. I have never asked anyone around here to do anything for me!... What do you want from me, Brother…
WALTER. I don’t want nothing but for you to stop acting holy ’round here...why can’t you do something for the family? ...—and thank you, Travis, for wearing the same pair of shoes for two semesters.
BENEATHA. (Dropping to her knees) Well—I do—all right?— thank everybody! And forgive me for ever wanting to be anything at all! (Hansberry
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