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

1100 Words5 Pages
“People share a common nature but are trained in gender roles”- Lillie Blake. In A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry not only are social and economic issues of African Americans displayed, but also the changing gender roles of the mid-twentieth century. The characters through their ethics and values show a clear split in their way of thinking. A gap in age and values from Mama to Beneatha shows that the play showcases the change in gender relations and establishes the character’s identities. Gender plays a crucial part in establishing and defining the characters, setting the time period and way of life, and showcasing the struggle between culture and modernity.
The characters’ views on gender relations establish the characters further by displaying their values and ideals. While Mama and Ruth believe in the stereotypical view of women, Beneatha, Mama’s daughter, has a very opposing opinion on the roles of women. She dismisses the stereotypical female jobs like watching children or cleaning a house, to pursue becoming a doctor. Beneatha also, does not choose to rely on men like her female counterparts, “[she’s] going to be a doctor [and isn’t] worried about who she’s going to marry- if [she] ever gets married” (Hansberry 1472). Unlike Ruth and Mama, Beneatha does not care about marrying a man to take care
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A clear line of thinking is seen in each generation of the family. Gender plays a crucial part in establishing and defining the characters, setting the time period and way of life, and showcasing the struggle between culture and modernity. Without such values rooting in the characters the play would take on a much different view and tone. With the ability to display the characters values and ethics, the reader is able to see each character’s view through their own eyes. Multiple generations of values are seen all in one
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