In the play, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, the struggles of an African-American family are seen through their suffering due to prevailing racism and the lack of education and opportunities that were accessible to them. There weren’t many opportunities that were available for families, especially black families in the 1950’s, to help them survive and live comfortably. There weren’t many black families that were rich and well-off. Walter Lee Younger is a man, a father, a husband, a son and a brother who wants the best possible life for his family and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it. He seems to think that success is measured by the amount of money that a person possesses. Unfortunately, he isn’t well educated and
The play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry debuted on Broadway in 1959, and the movie was made in 2008. “A Raisin in the Sun” is about the Younger family, the fifth generation of lower-class African-Americans living in Chicago’s Southside. They are faced with problems such as racial discrimination, poverty, and conflicting dreams. As the family decides on how to spend the insurance check of $10,000 from Walter’s father’s death, these problems cause many conflicts to rise. Reading the 1959 play and the 2008 movie, I have realized certain similarities and differences in how the story plays out.
“People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get” – Fredrick Douglass. The Life of Fredrick Douglass by Fredrick Douglass was published in 1845. He was a slave who ran away to the North to be labeled as free in America. He soon became an abolitionist who was the voice of civil and political rights of slaves. On the other hand, a play called, A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry in 1959, expresses how wealth is a dream in Walter’s eyes. The setting is illustrated in Southside Chicago and shows the struggle of a black family trying to prejudices when wanting to become successfully wealthy. Between these 2 excerpts, they show that their lives are similar, but have more differences in fulfilling their American Dream.
In A Raisin in the Sun, there is a connection between pride and money with more than one character. She puts these specific characters in to display the themes clearly. Lorraine Hansberry puts Walter in the beginning of the story as very pride driven, never wanting to show his son or family their financial struggles. He is a hard worker, but being a chauffeur for a rich white man is difficult for him and his pride and further into the play takes a toll on his attitude, ambitions and family’s future. Hansberry’s character Beneatha, or Bennie, also experiences a similar link between pride and money too. Throughout the play, Bennie is seen dating 2 different men. One, George Murchison, is a very rich man. He’s shallow too, Beneatha mentions. She could easily be attracted to this man for his money. But her marrying a man for his money and relying on someone else isn’t what she wants in life.
Through the use of the historical lens, looking specifically at the economic struggles, the struggle of unequal opportunity, and the housing covenant that African-American’s faced in the 1950’s, Hansberry’s message of A Raisin in the Sun is revealed: the perseverance of an ethnic minority in a time of racial discrimination. A Raisin in the Sun is set in a time of great racial discrimination, the 1950’s in the united States. This featured racism towards those of color or non-caucasians, and the struggles commonly faced by the African-American family is shown through the eyes of the Younger family through the writing and experiences of Lorraine Hansberry.
Some awful pain inside me.” (95) Additionally, Walter even decides that he can’t trust anybody anymore, “..Mama you know it’s all divided up. Life is. Sure enough. Between the takers and the ‘tooken’...” (89) and soon starts to fear that his life will always be an existence of nothing. “Sometimes it’s just like I can see the future stretched out in front of me — just plain as day...” (226) Likewise, another instance is that Beneatha 's thinks she will never be a doctor and never will be anything throughout life. “Me?... Me, I’m nothing.” (114-115) By giving up the money, Walter is shown to be spontaneous and quick to trust. He made a quick decision about giving Willy the money, without even thinking about the consequences, which shows his spontaneity and trust issues. He also didn’t even think to put any money away for Beneatha and he just trusted Willy to get the license before actually getting to know him. The play A Raisin in the Sun, shows how Walter settles on a brisk choice to give his Mamas insurance money to the character Willy Harris so he could purchase an alcohol store. Thus, his choice accounts Willy Harris to steal the cash which causes an apathetic temperament in the story and makes lost expectation in the family. This shows Walter to rush to
Poems are tools used to demonstrate dissatisfaction. The play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry leads by foreshadowing its theme of crushed dreams by starting with the poem A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes. The play follows an African-American family in 1950s Chicago, consisting of protagonist Walter Lee Younger, his son Travis, his wife and Travis’ mother Ruth, sister Beneatha, and mother/grandmother Lena, called simply “Mama” in the play. Walter is ambitious and wants to move out of his small and run-down home and find a better job than a chauffeur for the kind of man he wishes he could be. Desperate to fulfill this dream, he takes $6,500 of his mother’s insurance money that she obtains shortly beforehand following the death of Walter Sr. and strikes a deal with two friends of his to purchase a liquor store. This causes him to be scammed by one of them. Langston Hughes’ poem accurately represents the state of the family after Walter’s investment.
In A Raisin in the Sun, a play written by Lorraine Hansberry, the audience was able to obtain a sense of the struggle for the American dream. We are introduced to the Youngerś a black family living in the Southside of Chicago around the 1950’s. Each member of this family has their own meaning to what is the American dream. A Raisin in the Sun teaches us that even though life might be full of conflicts, it is important to not give up on our dreams.
Everyone learns lessons in life. These lessons can come from a book, experience and legends. Books have a theme that you can learn from that is what make books important. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams and A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry both have the themes of responsibility, family and dream that runs through the main characters Tom Wingfield from The Glass Menagerie and Walter Lee Younger from A Raisin in The Sun.
The main foreshadowing Miller uses in the play is the title itself, and when Linda tells Billy about Willy trying to attempt suicide. The audience can figure out that Willy will eventually die because of foreshadowing by the title. In the play Willy's death is expected, but it is never fully explained how he dies so we should assume that he killed himself through a car wreck. The unclear ending adds to the chaos in play. The whole story tells us about Willy Loman spent his life chasing a false American dream. This “false” American Dream made him have issues in his life and didn’t have strong enough support to sustain in his life. He depended on his family to support him but they didn’t. As they always say, it comes down to family support when one struggling, but in this case, he didn’t get any support hence Willy’s
The Narrator justifies keeping Bartleby and ignores his internal issues with confrontation. When Bartleby refuses to do anything but copy the Narrator forgives the behavior because Bartleby asked so politely. When Bartleby refuses to work all together the Narrator allows him to stay because he thinks it is a good thing to help Bartleby. Even when the Narrator realizes the he can’t have Bartleby in his office anymore he moves offices instead of making Bartleby leave. All these acts show us that the Narrator does not know how do deal with confrontation so he instead fools himself with excuses. Willy Loman behaves similarly with his perception that he is well liked. Willy insists that being well liked is the key to success and he is very proud of being liked. He also teaches his sons that being well liked is more important than getting good grades. This leads Biff to fail math in high school. Biff wants to retake the class in the summer but when he catches his father having an affair his perception of his father, his biggest role model, is shattered causing him to give up on the things he used to want to do. Willy represses this memory entirely and tries to blame others for Biffs behavior instead of himself. Willy also fools himself into thinking he is well liked and successful. In small moments of clarity Willy admits that people have made fun of his physique and no one talks to him anymore when he goes
In Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, the characters of Mama, Walter ,and Beneatha are faced with hardships associated with their dreams being destroyed by discriminatory housing,racial inequality and lack of support from her family towards her education. In the play all the characters have some kind of dream. Mama wants to get a house for the family, Walter wants to have money to provide for his family and plans to do that with a liquor store, and Beneatha wants to become a doctor. Beneatha is going to school and at the same time she’s trying to discover herself,but her family is not supportive of this. Mama did unfortunately lose her husband, and the family is receiving a life insurance check for $10,000.
Willy Loman and Walter Lee Younger are two different people, in two different worlds with almost the same type of problems. The struggles between the Younger and Lomans is quite a twist for some people but if given a chance can be unraveled to see how much love and care is actually put into the meaning of family. First is Willy and how his life is being changed by his memory and struggle to keep up on payments. Second is Walter struggling with his drinking problem and trying to keep his temper in check to tell a certain white man to leave and that they are keeping the house they bought. Lastly is the difference in their struggles that they have to face in order to survive and handle in order to keep their family together.
In Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, we see the story of a young man who believes having money is the key to happiness. In the story, Walter recieves a check and with it, his excitement grows. However, his mother and wife do not share the same passion he does. "WALTER: A job. (Looks at her) Mama, a job? I
In history, there have been an innumerable amount of plays written, but none so flawlessly encapsulate the realities of achieving the American dream than Death of a Salesman and A Raisin in the Sun by Arthur Miller and Lorraine Hansberry respectively. Although the two plays are very different, the characters and the issues they face, at its core, parallel each other because they both deal with the failure of dreams. Both set in the 1940s, Death of a Salesman deals with a white family’s unrealized dreams while in Brooklyn, New York, whereas A Raisin in the Sun concerns the turmoil of an African American family living in the southside of Chicago about agreeing on the same dream. As Terrence Smith and Mike Miller wrote, “The purpose of drama is not to define thought but to provoke it,” essentially stating that drama is not merely meant to entertain and instruct the viewer what to think, but to pose as a form of expression to inspire people to reevaluate rigid opinions and make society examine itself in a mirror.