Womanhood In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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Unit Analysis II
Each phase in the the lives of women comes with certain expectations. They are born as daughters, built up to settle down as wives and eventually mothers. For black women, each step in their womanhood is caught between race and gender. They are denied humanity due to their blackness, yet demanded as women to bring life into a world that does not even consider them human. The burden of black womanhood is proven to be inescapable for those who choose or deny the path of domesticity.
In Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun, Ruth Younger is exhausted from trying to satisfy the impossible standards of womanhood. She is described in the same worn-down manner that Hansberry uses to depict the dreary setting, as “disappointment has already begun to hang in [Ruth’s] face”. She has done everything that the world has demanded of her as a woman, yet it is still not enough. In comparison to her sister-in-law Beneatha, Ruth lacks mobility. Every scene, Ruth is inside the house. Hansberry never depicts Ruth entering or exiting the setting as Beneatha constantly does. She has rooted herself in her household, resulting in a synchronized deterioration. She is never allowed a day off from the stress of marriage and motherhood. In the first act,
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Gender proves that there is still a hierarchy that exists for those denied the status of “human”, it is not a universal bottom but a web of intersectional oppression. Sylvia Wynters notes that domination needs a cultural model, such as female domesticity, that encourages exploitation. Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun presents the division between community and identity in black womanhood. Beneatha denies to sacrifice herself, but faces rejection from her black female peers. However, Ruth puts herself second only to realize it will never be enough. The space outside of female expectations is isolating, yet compliance to the pressures of womanhood is
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