A Raisin in the Sun addresses major social issues such as racism and feminism which were common in the twentieth century. The author, Lorraine Hansberry, was the first playwright to produce a play that portrayed problematic social issues. Racism and gender equality are heavily addressed throughout the play. Even though we still have these issues today, in the 1950’s and 60’s the issues had a greater part in society. Racism and gender have always been an issue in society, A Raisin in the Sun is an important piece of American history during that time period.
In Lorraine Hansberry’s play,” A Raisin in the Sun” Beneatha Younger has great dreams for her future, but there are issues such as, race, education, and gender that stand in the way. Beneatha’s dreams of finding who she really is and becoming a doctor are affected by her gender in the play. Walter says to Beneatha,“I'm interested in you. Something wrong with that? Ain’t many girls who decide…to become a Doctor” Bennie helps him finish his sentence (Hansberry 36).
Hansberry's Raisin in the Sun is set in a one-bedroom apartment shared by three generations of the Younger family: Walter and Ruth, their son Travis, Walter’s sister Beneatha, and their mother Lena. The Younger family is waiting for a $10,000 life insurance check resulting from the father’s recent death. The windfall represents a kind of liberation to the family with the central conflict over how to spend the money. Mama (Lena) puts down a payment on a house in an all-white neighborhood (Clybourne Park), while Walter wants to invest in a liquor store. Mama relents, with the condition that they carve out $3,000 for Beneatha’s college education.
– thank everybody! And forgive me for ever wanting to be anything at all! (Pursuing him on her knees across the floor) FORGIVE ME, FORGIVE ME, FORGIVE ME!”. This quote is significant because we can see Beneatha’s frustration for wanting to have something or to pursue something that her brother cannot
No one ever stays the same forever. This is shown in Beneatha Younger in “A Raisin in the Sun”. Beneatha is a young black women, who faces challenges everyday. She is a students at a college and dreams to be a doctor but no one else seems to believe in her. This makes her try harder and makes her change the way she thinks.
Hansberry did not live the lifestyle that Beneatha did; she did not live in utter poverty. Hansberry had family support for her desires; While Beneatha wants to live in a world where she can pursue her dreams. Though her brother Walter thinks she is ridiculous, Beneatha insists on being a doctor. Beneatha has two main struggles to overcome; she was black and she was a woman (James 42). Mama is a sensitive and proud black woman who strives to improve her family.
Have you ever wanted to accomplish something that nobody else thought you could be? In “A Raisin In the Sun” Beneatha Younger, a young black woman, living with her older brother’s family in an apartment too small in a racist 1950s town. Everyone in the family treats her as the little sister even though Beneatha’s in her twenties. Defiant, determined, and ambitious, Beneatha Younger is a young woman who as her heart set on becoming a doctor and finding her place in life. Beneatha Younger lives with the Younger family in an apartment too small for them.
Inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem, “Harlem” and her own experience, Lorraine Hansberry authored A Raisin in the Sun. Hansberry used the locale of South Side, Chicago where she was born during a time of social and political turmoil as the backdrop to her play. Through the lens of Marxist’s critical theory about contradictions building into social systems that lead to social revolution, Hansberry depicts issues related to racism and discrimination. Hansberry’s father was a successful real estate agent, but despite her family’s wealth, the law of Chicago required the Hansberry family to live in the ghetto South Side. Similar to the plot of the play, Hansberry’s father bought a home in a Caucasian neighborhood and after the family settled into their new home, a brick was thrown through the window almost hitting Hansberry (Plays and Playwrights, 1540).
The author’s plays theorize constructive models of "universal" femininity. The some of the critics label “A Raisin in the Sun” as an "American classic" either because of its American-ness or because of its African American-ness. I believe that the play was considered an American classic because Lorraine Hansberry brought light to the everyday struggles that African Americans suffered due to their race. In the past, many African Americans wanted better future; consequently, they were profited by some Caucasians due to
Just within the recent decades, men and women started to fight against the gender stereotypes and started to challenge their roles in a family and in the society. The play, A Raisin in the Sun, portrays the lives of African–Americans during the 1950s. Lorraine Hansberry, a writer and a social activist, reinforced the traditional gender roles, especially female’s, by depicting how the Youngers interact and how they act in an economical struggle. Throughout the play, A Raisin in the Sun, she uses Walter Lee Younger, Ruth Younger and Lena Younger to reinforce the traditional role of fathers, wives and mothers within a family. Hansberry portrays the role of fathers within their families through her only male character in the play, Walter Lee Younger.