Gender Expectations In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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Gender Expectations in Different Cultures “Women are supposed to cook and do house chores… Women should be responsible for raising children… Men should tell women what they should do… Men are superior than women.” Gender expectations are evident in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and the society in Korea. Due to their different culture and lifestyle, The Youngers, the African American family, in A Raisin in the Sun have gender expectations that are different from the those in Korea. Gender expectations in the Youngers and Korea and are mainly noticeable in these three categories: occupation, personality traits, and physical appearance. Occupation and domestic behaviors play a major role in gender responsibilities in 1950s United States…show more content…
In A Raisin in the Sun, Walter and Ruth have a personality that correlates to the traditional gender expectation. Walter has an abrupt nature, while Ruth is demure and quiet; the temperament of the two characters corresponds to a man expectation to be dominant and superior to women. Walter comments, “Don’t call it that. See there, that just goes to show you what women understand about the world. Baby, don’t nothing happen for you in this world ’less you pay somebody off!” (Act 1, Scene 1). Through the quote, it suggests that women should be ignorant about the world, and calling “baby” instead of her name shows the inferiority of the women to men. In addition, Walter is expected to be the head of the family; Mama says, “It ain’t much, but it’s all I got in the world and I’m putting it in your hands. I’m telling you to be the head of this family from now on like you supposed to be” (Act 2, Scene 2). Although Walter does not deserve the power, the manhood of Walter Lee enables him to “control” the family. Conversely, Beneatha’s talkativeness and her aggressive personality are against how a 1950s African American should act. Ruth asks “Can’t you be a little sweeter sometimes? (Act 1, Scene 1)” to indicate the modest characteristics women should have. Furthermore, Ruth’s decision of abortion at the beginning of the play was unconventional since it was against gender expectation because it is against her duty as a wife and a mother. In Korea nowadays, the personality of a person is not judged based on their sex. Women are not expected to be shy and passive; not all women are clean and organized. Men are not expected to be tough and belligerent; not all men are lazy and disorganized. Although gender expectation greatly impacts the Youngers by categorizing them to superior and inferior, it scarcely affects people’s identity in
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