Gender Inequality In A Raisin In The Sun

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Lorraine Hansberry’s play, ‘A raisin in the sun’, is set sometime between World War II and the present in Chicago’s South Side. The play unfolds in the Younger family’s tiny apartment and the scene describes a cramped and roach infested environment. The play focuses on the unique range of experience of three black women Mama, Ruth and Beneatha and the issues of black man-black women relationships, gender roles, a women’s right to education, poverty, abortion and the right to better living conditions. However the theme discussed in this essay will focus on gender inequalities and the restrictions that gender play in the aspirations of the women in the Younger family. Both Ruth and Mamma work as domestic workers to earn a living. The most dominant male character in the play is Walter Lee who happens to be the son of Lena better known as Mamma and the husband of Ruth. Throughout the novel we learn of the poor environment in which the Youngers live in and this furthermore pushes the dominant character to enforce his superiority on the female gender in the household. However, Walter Lee is not the only male character who uses gender to restrict the aspirations of the women in the play, the role George Murchison and Asegai play will also be discussed in detail to highlight the restrictions they have on one particular female character in the play known as Beneatha.
Firstly, it is quite evident that notions of masculinity and femininity are woven throughout the play and we can
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