Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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A Raisin in the Sun depicts the struggles imposed upon the members of the Younger family in the 1950’s in the United States of America during a time of racial discrimination. Lorraine Hansberry reveals through each character individually, and together as a family, how race and gender have contributed to the situation this black family are in as well as the hardships they face while trying to gain respectability in their society as well as in their home.

The play shows strong views of gender and how the Younger family members each have a different opinion in regards to gender roles and what it means to be a man or a woman.

Although traditional, Ruth does not always accept her generalised role as a woman. She does not always agree with what Walter says and does and in turn shows the reader that Walter does not always have power over her. An example from Act I can be used when she asks Walter: “What kind of eggs do you want?” (Hansberry, 2011, p. 11) and Walter responds saying: “Not
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He is certain that he should be the head of the family and solely be the provider for the Younger family. He struggles deeply with the fact that his family members have a lack of faith in him and his role in their family. He blames his lack of power on the female members of his family as well as his race. “We are one group of men tied to a race of women with small minds.” (Hansberry, 2011, p. 19) Throughout the play, his idea to invest in a liquor store business is also dispirited by his mother, sister and wife. Walter wants to be respected and uphold his sought-after role as a man. Walter also believes that woman are fit to only take on supporting roles in society. He depicts this when telling Beneatha: “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…” (Hansberry, 2011, p.
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