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.
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.
In Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, take place in the late 1950s in Chicago Illinois the younger experiences the struggles of living during the Jim Crow era. African American families have always struggled to find their place within a white society. Throughout the play the audience sees the differences between the three generations through Mama, Walter and Beneatha. Ruth, Walter’s wife, acts as a stabilizing force in the family who acts as a peacemaker and caretaker within the family.
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
The American dream means something different to each one of the Youngers in the play, “A Raisin in the Sun,” written by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959. The characters in the story all have their own set of issues and dreams. The relationship between each of the Younger’s greatly influences each of their decisions. When a check for ten thousand dollars comes in the mail, the Younger’s world changes and they all learn what it really means to be a family. Lena Younger’s, known as “Mama”, dream was to have a happy and healthy family.
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.
The play “ A Raisin In The Sun “ wrote by Lorraine Hansberry is a inspiring play about the Younger family. A typical African American family in the late 1950’s trying to make life better for themselves. They’re a family trying to overcome the difficulties and obstacles that comes with being black in America in that time. Obstacles such as lynchings,segregation,racial discrimination and overall the difficulties that comes with being black in America. With external problems within the family the characters also internal conflicts within themselves.
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.
Walter is upset and is trying to cope and make mama understand that him receiving the money from the white man to not to move in will of regain. “Men are expected to be breadwinners, yet providing for one’s family with little or no help has negative repercussions,” said lead author Christin Munsch. Mama was upset that he didn’t listen and that he lived up to the vision of how the whites seen them, Careless and destructive. This is why mama thought it to be all in her hands because Walter as man was distraught and she felt it was a women's jobs because they do everything else. This showed feminism by mama wanting to stay in control and Walter being a man wanting/feeling like he had to be the “breadwinner” because its a mans
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.
Raisin in the Sun: Gender Roles Defied Following the event of World War Two, America during the 1950s was an era of economic prosperity. Male soldiers had just returned home from war to see America “at the summit of the world”(Churchill). Many Americans were confident that the future held nothing other than peace and prosperity, so they decided to start families. However, the 1950s was also a time of radical changes. Because most of the men in the family had departed to fight in the war, women were left at home to do the housework.
Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun presents the rise of feminism in America in the 1960s. 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 feministic ideology in the play. A Raisin in the Sun is feminist because, with the feminist notions displayed in the play, women can fulfil their individual dreams that are not in sync with traditional conventions of that time.
“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.
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.
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. Linder speaks to the Younger family and offers them money to buy their house, because they, the white people feel that a community should share a common background and that negro families are happier when they live in their own communities. This is an example of how the Younger family has experienced racism, while it is true that people with the same background will be happier together, it is also their right to live where they feel they are progressing.