Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun presents the rise of feminism in America in the 1960s. A Raisin in the Sun is feminist because, with the feminist notions displayed in the play, women establish their rights to fulfil their individual dreams which diverge from traditional conventions of that time. Beneatha Younger, Lena Younger (Mama) and Ruth Younger are the three primary characters displaying evidences of feminism in the play. Moreover, Hansberry creates male characters who demonstrate oppressive attitudes towards women yet enhance the feminist ideology in the play.
A Raisin in the Sun is feminist because, the play encourages women to develop an identity for themselves, particularly through education and career. Beneatha dreams to be a doctor, which is a male-dominated profession. She says, “I am going to be a doctor and everybody around here better understand that!” (Hansberry 33). This shows her feminist attitude in the play when Beneatha takes a largely optimistic stance when facing troubles of entering a male-dominated profession, implying that she is a ‘non-conformist’. Additionally, Beneatha refuses to “just get married and be quiet” (Hansberry 22), as her chauvinistic brother, Walter Lee, expects her to be. This is depicted by the Beneatha’s sarcastic retort to Walter: “Forgive me for ever wanting anything at all!” (Hansberry 21), when they quarrel about Beneatha’s high ambitions and unruly independence she gained through education. This illustrates her