Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, set in the aftermath of World War II during the apparent racial tension between African Americans and whites, portrays the story of the Youngers, a poor African American family, who feel the confinement of their miniscule apartment and the social roles forced upon them by society in Chicago’s South side. They discover a chance at a new beginning when the matriarch of the family, Lena Younger, receives a $10,000 life insurance check. However, her children, Walter Lee and Beneatha, each have their own plans for the money which causes tension within the family. Throughout the play, they must find a way to work through their problems and fight against racial discrimination. In A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry incorporates various symbols such as Mama’s plant, Beneatha’s African connections, and the life insurance check. The use of these symbols helps describe the hopes and dreams of the Younger family trying to break the cycle of poverty and racism. All throughout her play, Hansberry always mentions Mama’s little plant. She confesses that her barely surviving plant never receives the sufficient sunlight and water to flourish healthily, yet it continues to grow under her loving care. Even though her family may think she is crazy, she never abandons her small, feeble houseplant. Her plant clearly represents her family’s deferred dreams for a better and successful future, struggling to survive in this cruel and harsh world. Similar to the
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A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry explores the ideas of the “American Dream” of the American 1950’s. Though the idea of the “American Dream” commonly refers to white suburbia, Hansberry takes a different stance on the idea. Set in the South Side of Chicago, the play details a few days in the life of an African American family known as the Youngers. The Family consists of the grandmother, known as “Mama”, her two children, Beneatha and Walter, and Walter’s wife Ruth and son Travis. The family lives collectively in their tiny apartment, where much of the play takes place. After the Patriarch of the family passes away and leaves $10,000 to Mama, the Younger family debates about what the money should be put towards. Ultimately, though their ideas compete, each individual's goal ultimately aims at escaping poverty and
Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, centers on an African American family in the late 1950s. Hansberry directs her work towards specifically the struggles faced by African Americans during the late 1950s. Through the dialogue and actions of her characters, she encourages not only a sense of pride in heritage, but a national and self-pride in African Americans as well.
“Money is not the key to happiness,” no big pay amount would make much of a difference. As people in America everybody thinks you cannot afford to avoid the unhappiness of having to life, having plenty of cash does not make your any more enjoyable then what it is in the present. Happiness depends on how you feel towards your loved ones which in Lorraine Hansberry's Play, “A Raisin In the Sun” Walter's obsession with money often caused him to act unkindly to his loved ones. In the book Raisin in the Sun a family from the Southside of Chicago they lived in a small apartment trying to find a way out of the community they have lived in. The Younger family was dealing with living in a white dominant society dealing with poverty and prejudice acts. The Youngers’ try to ignore the obstacles and stay on their feet throughout the 1950s.
“ A Raisin in the Sun” is a play written by Lorraine Hansberry about the life of an African American family during the era of segregation. The play starts off with the Younger family receiving a 10,000 dollar check from Mr. Younger’s insurance policy. The family argues over what they are going to do with it. Mama wants to buy a house with it, Walter wants to invest in a liquor store, and Beneatha wants to use the money to go to medical school. The contrast of the characters’ personalities fuels the conflict and drives the story forward. Beneatha is a young college student and the sister of Walter. She has a dream of becoming a doctor. Beneatha is a dynamic character who is easily influenced by her family and the people
The story of this play is simple and the majority of African-Americans faced such issues in the 1950’s, living on the south side of Chicago, struggles with poverty, dignity and dreams of a better life. Wanting better for your children and trying to fit in, while maintaining family values. A Raisin in the Sun is an excellent example of the relationship between family values and conflict. In this play it portrays: values and purpose of dreams, the need to fight for racial discrimination and the importance of family.
Did you know that most African Americans were not allowed to vote until 1965, only a little over fifty years ago? This was just one among many struggles faced by black people during the 1950's. Though slavery was finally no longer a hindrance, this did not put an end to racism and financial disadvantages. Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun follows a family of African Americans and how they attempt to overcome these racial barriers in order to live out their individual dreams. When a patriarchal death brings a large check to the family, every character seems to think that money will provide a perfect path leading to their wishes. For example, Mama, the “grandmother” figure, wants to buy a house because her dream is to move out of poverty and into comfort. On the other hand, Walter wants to use the money to invest in a liquor store thinking it will help him fit in with “the whites.” Similarly, Beneatha, Mama’s daughter and Walter’s sister, has other plans in her mind. Only twenty years old, Beneatha Younger best portrays the American Dream in A Raisin in the Sun with her desires to find love, keep her ancestors relevant, and cure people.
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry is a play about the financial, social, and internal struggles of an African American family in the post WWII era, on a richer, more philosophical level it is about dreams, and whether you should sacrifice them in order to better provide for your dependents today. The entire Younger family shares one small apartment, with three generations of people living in an apartment with only a single window. When living in the face of adversity and under such conditions, a person’s true ideas and values come out and are plain for the reader to see. There is no exception for the women in the Younger household; three generations living under one roof, during time of social change and familial hardship, can create
Lorraine Hansberry, a female playwright and black activist, spent almost all of her life dealing with American racism, poverty, and lack of social mobility. As a person who witnessed the daily struggles of African Americans, Hansberry wanted to expose the hypocrisy in the idea that America was the land of equal opportunity. As a result, in 1959, Hansberry wrote the play, A Raisin in the Sun, which details the Youngers, an African American family, who experienced racism, poverty, and the lack of social mobility during the 1950s in Chicago’s Southside. Throughout the play, the Younger family members try to make their respective dreams come true and try to deal with the problems that surround them. However, the process of one family member achieving his or her own dream stifles another family member’s respective dream. Hansberry uses the Younger family characters to argue that America is not a land of equal opportunity due to racism, poverty, and the lack of social mobility and to make American society aware of the disadvantages that African Americans are faced with.
Since its first paragraphs, the “A Raisin in the Sun” focuses on a fundamental issue – poverty and how it’s related to race. Hansberry is drawing the portrait of a stereotypical situation, in the mid-20th century, when racial discrimination was linked to lack of money and vice versa. The plays spins around a check of $10000 from the insurance company, granted for the death of Mama’s husband. The story goes with discussing the investment choices about that sum of money. The main male character, Walter Younger, Mama’s son, is presented as man who is eager
With such traumatic memories of Hansberry’s childhood, she incorporated into her first play the theme of a courageous decision by a black family to move into a hostage new environment setting, this theme was Racial Discrimination. Lorraine Hansberry 's most popular play, A Raisin in the Sun, deals with the crucial reaction of racism on the life of the Younger’s. The Youngers are a poor black family that lives on the South Side of Chicago. As the play performs, the Younger family suffers from racial discrimination in the housing industry and their lack of unemployment. The Youngers took on a risk as the racist policies take the form of buying a house in a white neighborhood. The importance of the play is to unravel. Foremost, it was the first play by a talented African American woman to be presented on Broadway, and secondly, it foreshadows many issues
The Scholarly Article “Review of the Original 1959 Broadway Production” explains the story/play A Raisin in the Sun written by Lorraine Hansberry. The article was found on Huntingtonthetatre.org, Accessed on August 27, 2015.The article begins with a short introduction of Loraine Hansberry and how she touches common issues that many African American families were struggling with in 1980. The play is about a lower class family that lives in South Chicago striving to overcome poverty. The characters of the story include a widow mother and her two children; she also has daughter in law and grandson who live with her as well. Claudia McNeil is described as a simple spiritual Matriarch, with a son who is driven to be a successful business owner,
Written in the 1900s, “A Raisin in the Sun,” is seen as a “historical achievement” due to its realistic and truthful depiction of the lives lived by many African Americans in the late 1950s. In many ways, Lorraine Hansberry’s childhood contributed to the creation of this work. While she was born into a middle-class family in Chicago, she witnessed the discriminations afflicting the American society firsthand. On the surface, the play is about an African American family trying to escape the slums of Chicago’s South Side. However, Lorraine Hansberry utilizes complex characters and themes to go beyond the primary plot of the play and explore the social issues of this time period.
Set in 1950’s Chicago, Illinois, the play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry is considered one of the best African American dramas. Centered around an African American family living in the Southside of Chicago the play portrays the family’s struggle for a better life. When Walter and Beneatha Younger’s father, Big Walter, dies their mother, Mama, is left with a ten-thousand-dollar life insurance check. However, each family member has their own idea of how to use the check to achieve a better life. Mama believes that leaving the slums will ensure a better life for her children while Beneatha trusts that education is the best way to end their poverty, but Walter believes the only way to advance in life is by incredibly wealthy. After Mama
Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun explores three generations of black women in the Younger family. The women in this play are Beneatha, Ruth and Mama. Although their goals and view are different from one another, they all dream of a better tomorrow. Beneatha aspires to attend medical school, Ruth wishes to pay for her child’s school and Mama longs for owning a house. Walter, one of the main characters in the play, believes that through his liquor business he will become exceptionally rich and all his problems will be solved.