The United States in the 1950’s was a combination between prosperity and social conflicts. Taking place in the same time period is the play “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Vivian Hansberry. The Younger family are apart of the main story line, a typical low income African American family in Chicago’s south side. Due to a misfortunate however, Mama’s husband had recently passed, and the family is due to a $10,000 life insurance check. In the beginning the entire family has different ideas on what to do with their newfound riches. Walter wants to start a liquor business for the long game, and Mama wants to help fund Beneatha's education and buy them all a new larger home. However, due to the time period in which this story takes
There is no way to know if a decision that was made is the right or the wrong decision. Making decisions is apparent in "A Raisin in the Sun", among all characters. Some decisions made by the characters work out in the end and other decisions, causes anger towards the family members. Throughout the play, Mama makes several life-changing decisions. Some of the decisions are very controversial to the readers. Mama's decisions have a great impact on all of the characters as well as their futures, although most of the decisions that were made, mainly affect Travis.
The play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry debuted on Broadway in 1959, and the movie was made in 2008. “A Raisin in the Sun” is about the Younger family, the fifth generation of lower-class African-Americans living in Chicago’s Southside. They are faced with problems such as racial discrimination, poverty, and conflicting dreams. As the family decides on how to spend the insurance check of $10,000 from Walter’s father’s death, these problems cause many conflicts to rise. Reading the 1959 play and the 2008 movie, I have realized certain similarities and differences in how the story plays out.
“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. While both stage and screen portrayals were highly acclaimed there are some similarities as well as some marked differences in each interpretation.
Mama watches over her family every day. In the play, when Ruth finds out that she is pregnant, Mama helps her. Mama doesn’t make Ruth panic, Mama just cares for her. In Act I, Travis needs 50 cents for school. Ruth tells him no, but Walter gives it to him along with another 50 cents for school. Later, Walter realizes that he needs the 50 cents. Walter gave up his money for his son. In order for the family to be nurturing, they must be understanding and be willing to step up for one another.
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.
Dee is a girl who lived with her mom and her sister Maggie, but she wasn’t like them at all, she was different than her sister and her mother. Mama was collecting money to take Dee to school in Augusta. Dee liked to be fashionable, she always wanted nice things.
Poems are tools used to demonstrate dissatisfaction. The play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry leads by foreshadowing its theme of crushed dreams by starting with the poem A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes. The play follows an African-American family in 1950s Chicago, consisting of protagonist Walter Lee Younger, his son Travis, his wife and Travis’ mother Ruth, sister Beneatha, and mother/grandmother Lena, called simply “Mama” in the play. Walter is ambitious and wants to move out of his small and run-down home and find a better job than a chauffeur for the kind of man he wishes he could be. Desperate to fulfill this dream, he takes $6,500 of his mother’s insurance money that she obtains shortly beforehand following the death of Walter Sr. and strikes a deal with two friends of his to purchase a liquor store. This causes him to be scammed by one of them. Langston Hughes’ poem accurately represents the state of the family after Walter’s investment.
Family is important to everyone in some way because family sticks together no matter what. The play A Raisin in the Sun is about a black family named the Youngers and the hardships they face together as a family. In A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, Ruth Younger is motivated by her family. This is shown by Ruth wanting to make her family happy, her working even though she is tired, and later when Ruth finds out there is going to be another mouth to feed.
A Raisin in the Sun was an innovative play for its era. Lorraine Hansberry produces in the Younger household one of the first authentic portrayals of a black household on an American stage, in an era where primarily black spectators just didn’t exist. African-American characters, typically minor and comedic, mostly hired racial stereotypes before this play. Lorraine Hansberry, nevertheless, displays a whole black household in an authentic view, one that is unbecoming and anything but comedic. She makes use of black dialect all through the play and raises significant concerns and struggles, for instance poverty, bigotry and racism.
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
“Symbolism is the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense.” Symbols can add a deeper meaning than just an object itself that the author is trying to make.Symbols can also foreshadow what is yet to come. The audience can interpret a symbol in many ways it depends on their experience. In Southside Chicago the Younger family is struggling to have hope as they are always facing society.In the drama, A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry the plant symbolizes the Younger’s dream as it evolves throughout the play.
In Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, the characters of Mama, Walter ,and Beneatha are faced with hardships associated with their dreams being destroyed by discriminatory housing,racial inequality and lack of support from her family towards her education. In the play all the characters have some kind of dream. Mama wants to get a house for the family, Walter wants to have money to provide for his family and plans to do that with a liquor store, and Beneatha wants to become a doctor. Beneatha is going to school and at the same time she’s trying to discover herself,but her family is not supportive of this. Mama did unfortunately lose her husband, and the family is receiving a life insurance check for $10,000.
She tells the story numerous times that she never planned on residing in the apartment for a long period of time, but intended on moving to a big house with a garden in the back (Act I, Scene I, 16). Through time, her dream deferred as many other things came up and her plant is as close as she ever had to a garden. Other than her own dreams, Mama knew that dreams were important to her family as well and the plant partly symbolized the hope that their dreams will never differ as hers had. There will always be hope for the family as long as the dreams, as well as the plant, stay alive and
The setting of the Raisin in the Sun is the ghetto of Chicago, where most black families lived and most of these black families had dreams of moving to a better neighbourhood, because of crime, but the housing industry causes segregated housing and manipulates communities with white fears of black integration. When Lorraine Hansberry was a child, her family also experienced the results of a government unconcerned with blacks leaving segregation. Lorraine used her play to tell people about her own struggle with racism, her play shows us that her problems were handled with determination.