A summary of the story, A raisin in the Sun, is a story written about a family known as the Youngers. This family of five lives in a small apartment on the south side of Chicago. In the story, its described as “a
Lorraine Hansberry was born in 1930 and grew up on the southside of Chicago. Her play, Raisin in the Sun, is based on the beginning of her life growing up in a middle-class African American family. Hansberry’s family purchased a house in a white neighborhood and the white neighbors attacked them. In result to this, the white neighbors went to court and Hansberry’s family was kicked out of the neighborhood. This play is also a reaction to Langston Hughes’s poem, Harlem. In his poem, he asked the question “What happens to a dream deferred?” Raisin in the Sun is an answer to his question. In her play, Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry uses Walter, Mama, and Beneatha to show the negative consequences that occur when you put off your dream.
The play deals with the search for a sense of belonging on different scales. Beneatha’s character journey throughout the play is representative of one’s search for belonging in the world.
In the play, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, there are many examples of sexism throughout its entirety. The character, Walter, demonstrates the acts of a sexist human being. Walter is sexist to not only women in general, but to the women in his family. Not taking into consideration of other people’s sayings and their feelings, Walter generally only thinks about himself, says what he believes, and truly only cares about money. Walter constantly is fighting with all of the women in the family as well. His sister, Beneatha, wants to become a doctor and Walter isn't very supportive of her decision. Walter's wife, Ruth, is the recipient of the majority of Walter's anger and sexist remarks.
In the text “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry, the author uses the writing strategy of conflict to develop the central idea of how oneself can become selfish when trying to achieve the American dream. The text shows that the central idea is selfishness because circumstances are presented where various characters fail to take into consideration others while seeking their dreams. For example, Walters says, “ Who the hell told you you had to be a doctor? If you so crazy ’bout messing round with sick people, then go be a nurse like other women-or just get married and be quiet…. ’’. This example of greed shows that the ambition to obtain a dream brings out the selfishness is true in the instance of Walter. It shows this because Walter diminishes his sisters Beneatha’s dream of becoming a doctor by making a misogynist comment in which insinuates on her settling on being a nurse due to a doctor clearly being an often male dominant profession. Furthermore, Walter is deluded by greed on opening a liquor store which causes him to have no regard for the feelings or desires of others. Clearly, the central idea of the text is that in trying to achieve a dream it can bring out a person selfish tendency because people tend to disparage others dreams in order to attain theirs.
Lena Younger, otherwise known as, “Mama” is Walter and Beneatha’s mother and the head of the household. With her deceased husbands ten thousand dollar insurance check Lena bought a three thousand-dollar house with a garden where her family would be happy and hopes to save the rest of the money for Beneatha’s medical school. Lena’s dream, “ Festers like a sore” and is the only dream that somewhat comes
She wants to become a doctor and get the education she needs to become one. Throughout the play she proves that her independence means a lot to her. Beneatha wants to be free and have her own life, just like the American Dream. In the play she says to Mama and Ruth, “Listen, I’m going to be a doctor. I’m not worried about who I’m going to marry yet-if I ever get married” (Hansberry32). Beneatha’s main focus is to become a doctor and she does not want a marriage getting in the way of her dream. She wants to live her life with independence and be her own person without anyone compromising that. The American Dream is very similar to that by saying that people should have an equal opportunity to do things on their own and be independent. Another example is, “I have never asked anyone around here to do anything for me!” (Hansberry19). Beneatha wants her family to know that she wants to do what she wants to and does not want anyone getting in the way of it. She has never asked anyone to do anything for her because she wants to be independent. Her independence is what keeps her going with her dream. In the American Dream, independence proves that a person wants to achieve their goal through working hard by themselves without anyone or anything trying to change it.
By the end of “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry, the Younger’s lives are beginning to improve. Compared to the state of the family at the opening of the play, most considered that play ends on a joyous moment. However; that is not so for the Younger family. The way the play ends is not a happy ending because the Younger family does not have the funds that they need, two people are further from their dreams, and they are moving into a neighborhood to could be dangerous for them. Although one may be excited that things appear to be better for the Younger’s, the reality is that things could possibly be worse for them.
One of the issues that Beneatha faces in the play is her relationships with two men in her life, George Murchison and Joseph Asagai. Asagai mentions that he cannot take women seriously; George thinks it's funny that a woman wants to be a doctor. The only reason George likes Beneatha is because of her beauty. While Beneatha is with George, she is not allowed to express her feelings to him without being made fun
Beneatha is a young independent woman, who has big dreams of becoming a doctor. During the 1950, it was very rare for a young woman to become a doctor. As a result, becoming a doctor was even harder for a young black woman, like Beneatha. She is constantly told that women should just sit and look pretty. Constantly being put down by George Murchison a man that neglects his roots, “I don’t go out with you to discuss the nature of “quiet desperation”or to hear all about your thoughts...”(Hansberry 96 ). Beneatha is often confronted by Asagi, about how she is assimilating to an oppressive culture. Asagi tells her to stop trying to fit in, to be proud of her African roots, to embrace them, “White-black in this you are all the same.” (Hansberry 64) Beneatha desires to be different from those in her generation. Beneatha’s dream of becoming a doctor, is often affected by some of her family members’ decisions. She begins to lose hope, thus enabling her to become a realist.
In Act 1, Beneatha’s quest to find her personal identity is seen in the way she expresses herself, her ambitions, her roots and the way she deviates from what is acceptable in her family. She tries to find ways to express herself such as trying different hobbies. In the past, Beneatha has been a part of a play-acting group, horseback-riding club, and in Act 1 starts guitar lessons (47). She also has the ambition to become a doctor which is looked down upon by her brother, Walter Lee (38). Additionally, her African roots are important to her search for identity. This character trait is seen when Asagai mentions how he met Beneatha. She tells him she wants to know more about Africa because she is looking for her identity (62). Beneatha’s effort to make herself different from her family shows her personal identity. She has different views from her family. For example, she does not accept the existence of God (51). Beneatha’s quest to find her identity is a prominent theme throughout Act
A Raisin in the Sun addresses major social issues such as racism and feminism which were common in the twentieth century. The author, Lorraine Hansberry, was the first playwright to produce a play that portrayed problematic social issues. Racism and gender equality are heavily addressed throughout the play. Even though we still have these issues today, in the 1950’s and 60’s the issues had a greater part in society. Racism and gender have always been an issue in society, A Raisin in the Sun is an important piece of American history during that time period. The famous play shows the audience the life it was like to live as a black female, and shows the struggles that the Young family faced being the first African American family to move into a white neighborhood. This play is considered a
Money is one of the things in the world that a person can become obsessed with. In the story “A Raisin in the sun” the author Lorraine Hansberry shows how a family is changed by the lust of money. A widow, Lena, her son Walter Younger, his wife Ruth and daughter Beneatha all lived under the same roof. Lena just lost her husband and is receiving a check for his death. With the money, Lena wants to buy a new house for the whole family to live in but everyone else in the family sees a different type of opportunity. Being the man of the household, Walter dreams of owning a liquor store and plans on using Lena’s money to do so. Walter is always after money and believes that the only way to succeed in life is with money. For example, when Walter is talking about the check, he says, “Mama, sometimes when I’m downtown and I pass them cool, quiet-looking restaurants where them white boys are sitting back and talking about things, turning deals worth millions of dollars, sometimes I see guys don’t look much older than me” (992).This shows how Walter wanted something more out of life and not just be a poor black man.
Beneatha also faced a hardship in her life, but herr 's was different from the rest. She face problems with education. Her family did not fully support her decision of wanting to become a doctor. Beneatha wants to become a doctor but her family is not that wealthy. They do all put in work to pay for her schooling though. School was difficult for black students as they were not always accepted in all schools. “In September 1957 Arkansas Democratic Governor Orval E. Faubus became the national symbol of racial segregation when he used Arkansas National Guardsmen to block the enrollment of nine black students who had been ordered by a federal judge to desegregate Little Rock 's Central High School¨(Faubus). The Whites were definitely trying to keep the blacks from getting the proper education to be successful this is why her family is sceptical about her become a doctor. The family is somewhat supportive of Beneatha’s dream in the sense that they pay for her schooling. Beneatha doesn 't really believe them though, she thinks that they are against her she says “Forgive me for ever wanting to be anything at all” (Hansberry.37). She is saying that no one else in her family is ever going to be anything. She believe that she is the only one that is going to be successful. The rest of her family just has a low paying job and they don 't really make anything of them self. The real truth is that her family is working hard to put her through school so that she can make
To be prideful is human nature, even when it hasn't been earned. Being proud of who you are and what you have accomplished is an important part of everyone's life, but sometimes we are prideful without something to be proud of. This kind of pride is shown in the play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry through the character Walter Younger. He enters the play with a false sense of pride in being a man, despite the fact that he is a chauffeur who is struggling to support his family. Throughout the plot, he struggles with acceptance of his social status and economical situations, but ends up achieving true fulfillment in simply being proud of who he and his family are as people with aspirations. Walter’s evolution