A Raisin in the Sun: An Analysis

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Raisin in the Sun What does Mama's plant represent and how does its symbol evolve over the course of the play? The plant that Mama cherishes and nurtures is used as a powerful symbol throughout the play. At the time the play was presented, African Americans were struggling to gain justice on several fronts. The Civil Rights Movement was in full swing and the Black community was pushing forward, although their status as a culture was in doubt. The plant symbolizes the actual status of African Americans. It started as a "feeble little plant growing doggedly" (1779), which is how the push for civil rights began as well. Mama knew the plant lacked strength and she knew the plant was somewhat like her own children, Walter and Beneatha. In fact Mama said that though there wasn't much natural light and there was a definite lack of sunshine available to the plant the plant was fighting to survive, just like Mama's children. There was only a small window in the kitchen to let light in. Probably Hansberry was using the Sun as a symbol of hope for African Americans; that hope can nourish dreams, just like the Sun can help the plant to keep struggling until it is strong and healthy. The imagery of a Black family living where there isn't much light but wanting to move to a new place where there will be light and hope is one of the main ideas of the play. When Mama put the plant outside the window, Hansberry was likely making a symbolic point that African Americans were still

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