Imagine living in an environment where someone is constantly discriminated against because of their cultural background. Because of cultural prejudices, many people are unable to advance their economic status. This was a common problem that many African American men faced in the 1950s. The struggle of men constantly trying to help their family out of poverty was often prioritized over their family's desires. In Lorraine Hansberry’s play “A Raisin in the Sun”, Walter Lee Younger is focused on earning money and hopes to reap the benefits that come with wealth despite his family’s moral compass.
In A Raisin in the Sun, a play written by Lorraine Hansberry, the audience was able to obtain a sense of the struggle for the American dream. We are introduced to the Youngerś a black family living in the Southside of Chicago around the 1950’s. Each member of this family has their own meaning to what is the American dream. A Raisin in the Sun teaches us that even though life might be full of conflicts, it is important to not give up on our dreams.
Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun follows the struggles of an African American family living in a neighborhood in 1950s South Side Chicago. The play discusses several issues pertaining to African Americans of the time, such as poverty and discrimination. One of the major themes of the story is the search for a sense of belonging; whether that’s a sense of belonging to the continent of Africa, a neighborhood in Chicago, or on a personal level within the Younger family. The play explores this theme through its characters Beneatha, Mama and Walter.
The Younger family, is a family who are honest and who also work hard for what they want, just because they are black, does not mean that they don 't deserve to live in a better neighbourhood. However, racism also impacted the Younger family beneficially in the way Walter rejected Linders’s offer at the end of the play. The example of racism gives Walter the opportunity to become the man he always wanter to
Throughout the 1950s, people of color have struggled with achieving their dreams due to the lack of equality that is portrayed in that specific time era. It has been a constant battle for equality for all races and genders over the course of time. In Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin In the Sun the character Beneatha struggles with her racial inequality, education, and gender stereotyping. These specific struggles are the blocks she deals with trying to achieve her dream.
One of these flaws is equal rights. African Americans are having difficulties obtaining their own spot. “[Hansberry brings] local, individual struggles of African Americans—against segregation, ghettoization, and capitalist exploitation—to the national stage. (Gordon, 121 and 122)” The play first points out segregation.
In Susan Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, the themes identified are dreams and faith that each character signifies throughout their struggles in their daily lives. The theme dreams refer to how each of the main five characters: Ruth Younger, Walter Lee Younger, Travis Younger, Beneatha Younger, and Lena Younger dealt with different oppression situations that took part in their lives that put the dreams on hold. Furthermore, the theme also connects towards the faith that each main character had to pursue to keep their family together after the death of a love one. The characters’ in A Raisin in the Sun tries to chase after a separate dream, unfortunately their dreams are utterly pushed away to realize the importance of their family
Dreams are a common thing in society that hold and bond people together. Hope is in many aspects of our life as well, and fuel many of the wishes Americans possess. From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's famous “I Have a Dream” speech, to Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun play, we find that accomplishing these dreams and goals is something that takes courage or passion. Throughout these two pieces of literature, equality, racism, dreams, and hope are common themes. We can find that real human beings and simple characters share the desire of freedom, and strive for better opportunities in life.
In the play A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry introduces a family trying to move up in the world but has trouble doing so because they are racially opposed by society. Starting in the 1890’s the Jim Crow Laws were used in the South as a way to oppose African-American giving them a status called, “separate but equal.” They mandated segregation of public schools, public transportation, public facilities including restaurants, bathrooms, and drinking fountains. In the 1950s African- Americans were starting to fight for equal rights and were starting to make headway.
Walter wants to be free from the family’s low income lifestyle, and becoming rich is Walter’s extrinsic motivation to live. Mama said to Walter, “Son-how come you talk so much ‘bout money?” Walter responded with immense passion, “Because it is life, Mama!” Walter looks at life, and like a bride sees through her wedding vail, Walter sees through money lenses. He sees his father’s money as a possibility in a world that revolves around a minimal supply of money.
Introduction Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” led a great quest for the Younger household. Raisin is set in subsidized housing in Southside Chicago, in which three Black female relatives live and interact with their brother, husband, and son Walter. African Americans were frowned upon before the writing of “A Raisin in the Sun”. However, it her notorious story provided individuals of multiple races new hope for life. In 2006, Diana Adesola Mafe provided the world with her opinion of “A Raisin in the Sun”.
Through the use of the historical lens, looking specifically at the economic struggles, the struggle of unequal opportunity, and the housing covenant that African-American’s faced in the 1950’s, Hansberry’s message of A Raisin in the Sun is revealed: the perseverance of an ethnic minority in a time of racial discrimination. A Raisin in the Sun is set in a time of great racial discrimination, the 1950’s in the united States. This featured racism towards those of color or non-caucasians, and the struggles commonly faced by the African-American family is shown through the eyes of the Younger family through the writing and experiences of Lorraine Hansberry. Of the three major struggles the Younger family faced, the most prominent in Act one is that of financial disability. This is best shown through the working lives of the family.
In our society, individuals who are equally qualified often faces race discrimination within their lives, which is disastrous and miserable. It manifest itself in many ways, whether you are a white or black person there are benefits and disadvantages for specific races. People of color experiences so many unpleasant situations while growing. I was aware of how society looked at my race and that made me madder than a hornet who’s about to sting.
“A Raisin in the Sun,” written by Lorraine Hansberry in 1959, was the first play ever produced on Broadway by an African-American woman and was considered ground-breaking for it’s time. Titled after Langston Hughes’ poem “Harlem,” sometimes known as “A Dream Deferred,” the play and the subsequent film adaptations are honest examinations of race, family, poverty, discrimination, oppression and even abortion in urban Chicago after WWII. The original play was met with critical praise, including a review by Brooks Atkinson of the New York Times where he wrote, “For A Raisin in the Sun is a play about human beings who want, on the one hand, to preserve their family pride and, on the other hand, to break out of the poverty that seems to be their fate. Not having any axe to grind, Miss Hansberry has a wide range of topics to write about-some of them hilarious, some of them painful in the extreme.” The original screen adaptation released in 1961 was highly acclaimed in its own right, and was chosen in 2005 for preservation in the United States of America National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for its cultural and historical significance.