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 play deals with the search for a sense of belonging on different scales.
Simone de Beauvoir a literary critic analyzed Louise Anderson’s “A Raisin in the Sun” and the black matriarchal stereotypes. The American Black woman in this case mama faces a daily struggle in the Southside of Chicago. The First black matriarchal stereotype presented to the reader, as black males are not independent. Anderson uses the example of mama and how she interacts with her son and daughter in law. The second stereotype as black matriarch being “very religious.” As well as being a mother, mama is focused on her children by giving up everything.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” - Aristotle. Lorraine Hansberry wrote A Raisin in the Sun with many subjects in mind, including how to address topics such as racism, sexism, poverty, and self-discovery. Her character Beneatha Younger, an ambitious, selfish, childlike woman, hopes to become a doctor while simultaneously trying to “find herself”. The rest of the Younger family, including her mother, brother, and sister-in-law, view Beneatha as an eccentric young girl who refuses to grow up. Despite her family’s views of her, Beneatha shows maturity when the time calls for it and proves to everyone, even herself, that maturity comes when you find yourself.
In the play Raisin in the Sun written by Lorraine Hansberry takes place on the southside of Chicago where Walter and his family are racially profiled and show us how the survive throughout their struggles. The central struggles for the younger family in their search for the American dream is mostly poverty and being racially profiled against for their actions. Hansberry challenges the traditional gender roles and issues of dominance throughout the play when Mama gives Walter lee the rest of the money at the end of the play. He becomes all excited and was supposed to save some for himself and put the rest of the money to Beneatha 's education. Instead, he gave all that money to Willy another character in the play which later on that he stole from him.
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.
Respect Yields Harmony Written and set in the 1950s, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun encompasses the struggles of a lower-class African-American family, living in Chicago’s Southside. Even though such struggles may seem exclusive to the time period and the family’s race, Hansberry includes multiple life lessons throughout her play that skillfully transcend any potential limitations, and stand true for the majority of people. Through the use of her characters’ actions and words, Hansberry importantly illustrates that in order to maintain harmonious relationships, people must respect others’ opinions, decisions, and dreams. The conflict between Walter and Ruth is shown earliest in the play, perfectly demonstrating what happens when two people do not respect one another. Hansberry shows the married couple’s disconnect through an interaction with their son Travis.
A Raisin in the Sun depicts the struggles imposed upon the members of the Younger family in the 1950’s in the United States of America during a time of racial discrimination. Lorraine Hansberry reveals through each character individually, and together as a family, how race and gender have contributed to the situation this black family are in as well as the hardships they face while trying to gain respectability in their society as well as in their home. The play shows strong views of gender and how the Younger family members each have a different opinion in regards to gender roles and what it means to be a man or a woman. Although traditional, Ruth does not always accept her generalised role as a woman. She does not always agree with what Walter says and does and in turn shows the reader that Walter does not always have power over her.
Just within the recent decades, men and women started to fight against the gender stereotypes and started to challenge their roles in a family and in the society. The play, A Raisin in the Sun, portrays the lives of African–Americans during the 1950s. Lorraine Hansberry, a writer and a social activist, reinforced the traditional gender roles, especially female’s, by depicting how the Youngers interact and how they act in an economical struggle. Throughout the play, A Raisin in the Sun, she uses Walter Lee Younger, Ruth Younger and Lena Younger to reinforce the traditional role of fathers, wives and mothers within a family. Hansberry portrays the role of fathers within their families through her only male character in the play, Walter Lee Younger.
One of the key themes in A Raisin in the Sun is importance of family. Mama (Lena), is the main role model for this theme. “No- there’s something come down between me and them that don’t let us understand each other and I don’t know what it is. One down almost lost his mind thinking ‘bout money all the time and the other done commence to talk about things I can’t seem to understand in no form or fashion. What is it that’s changing, Ruth?”(292) In this quote Mama is expressing her feelings about her children.
Hardships and trials help to shape, mold, and create characters in stories, this is evident within the play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. Hansberry’s assertive character, Beneatha, connects to the messages from classic Motown songs of the time period such as: inequality, identity, and respect. These songs sing of some characteristics and problems Beneatha holds. Through the soulful sound of Nina Simone’s song, “Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free”, a cry for equality is heard that is similar to the one from Beneatha in A Raisin in the Sun. Hansberry's play is set in the 1950s and incorporates the social issues prevalent with in the time such as gender roles which helps to create an underlying theme that Beneatha struggles against in this story.
Hassenberry wrote her play about a poor African American family by the name of the Yongers. Mrs. Younger, Walter Lee, and Beneatha all have there own individual dreams. , But are consistently being differed. Lena Younger, otherwise known as, “Mama” is Walter and Beneatha’s mother and the head of the household.
Forest Whitaker once said, “Stereotypes do exist, but we have to walk through them.” How challenging could it have been to be apart of the stereotypes in the 1950s? Women and also men were frowned upon if they tried to break apart these social standards during this time. In A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry portrays Beneatha Younger- an African woman who suffers with racial and gender cliches and decides to make a change in her life. She defies against society’s standards and speaks her mind often. Beneatha wants to break racial and gender stereotypes by becoming a doctor.
She wistfully begins imagining a life as Mrs. Murchison where she “could be just like Ruth,” and do small jobs while her husband earns the majority of the income for the family. She asks George, “Do you believe that I could remain sane as a housewife?”, but this question is intended to be rhetorical. Bennie slowly returns to reality in her last line when she remembers that she’d be “wishing [she’d] pursued [her] dream,” and that she’d be looking into George’s “hungry eyes” day after day. This section of the monologue creates an argument for why the two are so incompatible, and shows Beneatha’s dependence on herself and her
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry is set in a period where traditional roles of men and women were prevalent in how society functioned. This can be seen in their attitudes towards themselves in relation to society, gender norms, relationships and racial attitudes. However, the characters in the play faced conflicts trying to reconcile the expectations of society compared to their personal wants and needs. During the time period set in the play, 1940 - 1950, the social climate of the United States was vulnerable to major issues such as equal rights for women/minorities, and overseas wars. These issues plagued the consciousness of the American public.
A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry represents one of the first books to ever properly illustrate the struggle of black families in the mid 1900’s. It’s realistic depiction of the hope many African Americans had for betterment of their lives through hard work and the discouragement they dealt with daily from the lack of social progress in their communities reoccurs throughout the production through stage movements, and the character’s actions. The author portrays characters with relatable despair and elation, so that viewer feel their trials and triumphs like they were their own. Most importantly, her writing leads readers to question if the system will allow success for the underdogs, and if religious faith means anything. Lena Younger,
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
Chicago served as a home to numerous walks of life in the 1950’s, and much of the differences in realities were based on differences in race and people’s opinions of segregation. Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun is based off of real life experiences, and it authentically tells the story of an african american family that strives for equality and The American Dream. Walter Younger, the father of the family, battles with deferred dreams of his own and for his family. Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun and Nina Simone’s song “I Wish I knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” both portray Walter’s emotions throughout his daily struggles with his family as they dealt with segregation and destitution. Money was a large contributor
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. Primarily, Walter Younger is an example of the struggle to achieve the American dream.
A Raisin in the sun takes place during the 1950’s and early 1960s. It was during the time when discrimination against blacks was very well known and blacks mainly lived in poverty The genre is a play and takes place in chicago’s south side. It 's important to the narrator mainly because she was writing about her own experiences and was giving people a perspective of how others lived during that time period she was trying to question people 's minds and hearts of the way America was allowing how people were being treated and how hard it was survive through that but how easy it was for white people. Analysis: Relate the book to human experience. In 300-500 words explain three truths about human nature and find thee events that relate from
The play “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry helped illustrate how sunlight is used as a symbol of hope and life to convey the theme of hopes, plans and dreams. The author mentions sunlight and how their old stomping ground has so little of it. The main thing Ruth gets some information about in Act Two, Scene One is regardless of whether the new house will have a great deal of daylight. Daylight is a natural image for expectation and life, since all human life relies on upon warmth and vitality from the sun. The sun has been an image of energy, development, wellbeing, enthusiasm and the cycle of life in many societies and religions all through time.