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

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Many issues challenged the United States during the 1950’s, but one of the most prominent issues was gender inequality. Throughout history, writers have used literature to send a message across to readers. Lorraine Hansberry utilizes this technique in her most popular play, A Raisin in the Sun, to raise awareness of a problem that was important to her that many people in the fifties were not aware of. This issue was gender inequality, and the way she develops relationships between men and women mirrors the treatment of females in American history. Hansberry reflects the social injustice towards women in the 1950’s through the response of strong-willed women towards oppression from men. Walter Lee Younger wasn’t afraid to stereotype the…show more content…
But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that he is not as adept as Beneatha would like. He informs Beneatha that a man and woman can only share a certain type of relationship-a romantic one (Hansberry 92). This makes it seem like he values the same things George does in a woman. It comes across that he doesn't want Beneatha around if she keeps sharing her thoughts and opinions, and that bothers her. She knows relationships are based on speaking to one another and learning about the other person so she is irked when Asagai doesn’t want that with her. Later, he tells her that he “live[s] the answer” to the question Beneatha has always asked herself: “Where are we all going-and why are we bothering?” (Hansberry 187). Asagai’s aforementioned self-glorification depicts the male belief that men are capable of anything and that they can do everything better than women can. Again, Beneatha proves herself to be self sufficient and in doing so, she proves the men in her life wrong. The most important point Hansberry wanted to get across was not how cruel and oppressive men in the 1950’s were towards women. She wanted to reveal how women fought against the demands of the patriarchy and how they accomplished their goals in spite of them being crushed. She definitely accomplished her goal and women for generations to come will use this play as an example of how to respond to gender inequality.

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