Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, depicts the lives of the Younger family, an African American family living in the Southside of Chicago during the 1950s. The play takes place in their cramped apartment offering the reader insight into the arguments, discussions, and conversations that take place between the characters. In one scene, Hansberry specifically offers the reader a conversation between Asagai, an influential companion, and Beneatha to show us how disparate the Younger siblings, Beneatha and Walter, are. As Asagai looks at Beneatha, he sees “what the New World has finally wrought.” Similarly, Beneatha takes a look at Walter and says, “Yes, just look at what the New World hath finally wrought” with an enraged
In “A Raisin in the Sun”, one of the main character, Beneatha, experiences two opposite views through the two men in her life. Asagai is someone who embraces the African culture and encourages others to learn more about where they come from. On the other hand, George is someone who has assimilated into the American culture and does all he can to avoid his own identity and be exactly like how a white man should be.
She goes on dates with George but finds him boring and is offended that he finds her dreams of being a doctor stupid. She is a strong independent woman who is at the brink of being a full thrown feminist and is not at any time giving into the pressures of society to marry the richest man she can find. George is an African-American who shows no interest in his African roots, he does not like talking about Africa or talking to those who advocate it. George has completely assimilated into the American culture to gain the respect of the white people being one of the African-American families who cracked on the pressures of society assimilate. George’s wealth was not something that swayed Beneatha, his wealth sure could assist her in pursuing a medical career but she did not want to be tied by any boundaries. Asagai was different from George because he did not want to marry Beneatha to tie her down, he wants to marry her to set her free.
Nobody in the play is as influential on Beneatha as the people she dates. George is the first person she goes one a date with. He comes from a very wealthy African-American family he looks and dresses preppy. Her family loves him, but she is not serious about him. Beneatha says,”...I couldn’t ever
In conclusion, the play A Raisin in the Sun by. Lorraine Hansberry shows how hard it was for a poor black family in the 50’s. Through all the discrimination and segregation made it nearly impossible for an African American family to progress in life. The two most important characters Walter and Mama made the play what it
Hansberry uses Beneatha and Walter Younger in a metaphorical message to display the feuds that they have as a lower class African American family. Hansberry uses Beneatha and Walter in an attempt to show the diversity in their household. Beneatha's clear superior intelligence level over Walter is a representation of the higher class African Americans looking over struggling lower economic African American class. The author understood that in this time of Civil Rights movements it was a constant battle not only between races but social classes as well. Within the African American race it was a constant struggle for serenity.
Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun encompasses all the ideals of the American Dream through her characters: Walter, who embodies the quest for an opportunity for prosperity, Beneatha who wants the freedom to be herself and embrace her African heritage, and Lena (Mama) who buys a home in a white neighborhood pushing the boundaries of social mobility during that time. The Youngers are in a state of poverty, because of this as suggested by Lloyd Brown “their deprivations expose the gap between the American Dream and the Black American reality” (241). However the Youngers attempt to close this gap, challenging the status quo in an effort to better themselves.
Asagai, I am looking for my identity!” (Hansberry 49). Thus, by revealing Beneatha’s interest in Africa to be genuine, coupled with her excitement, Hansberry then expresses a sense of pride in returning to one’s roots as well as encourages African Americans to embrace theirs. After all, by portraying an interest and yearning for knowledge involving African heritage in one of her characters, Hansberry transfers this idea to her audience as well.
Consequently, the power over someone’s dream could possibly stop them from pursuing their ambition, acting as like a deferred dream. In A Raisin in the Sun, racism has power over Beneatha's dream of being a doctor. Even though Beneatha is a woman, she has a big dream of being a doctor. But, racism and gender inequality get in the way of her dream. Since Beneatha is a black woman, she has to work twice as intensely as any man or white woman to prove that she is capable to be a great doctor. Similarly, their family is poorer than most others, so she doesn’t have as many resources as other people do. She is reminded many times of how she shouldn’t proceed with her dreams, so the reminders of how she is a black woman doesn’t help with her situation. “Who the hell told you you had to be a doctor? If you so crazy ‘bout messing ‘round with sick people—then go be a nurse like other woman—or just get married and be quiet…”(Hansberry 38) In this scene, Walter is arguing with his sister about the money they’re going to get from their father, but it takes a turn when Walter tries to make Beneatha feel terrible for wanting to be a doctor. However, that argument makes Beneatha determined to become a successful doctor. Around the 1950’s, when this novel takes place, it is concluded by the African Americans that it’s not likely that they will accomplish their dream. “Big Walter used to say, he’d get right wet in the eyes sometimes, lean his
They are a family of 5 squeezed in a two-bedroom apartment, they are restricted socially and financially with Walter (the father) working as a chauffeur for a white was the only bread winner for the family, he dreams of opening a liquor store and his sister Beneatha his sister studies to become a doctor despite the strain it puts on the family. The Youngers get a new chance when ten thousand dollars comes in the mail and Lena (Walter’s mother) decides what to do with it. She decides to buy a house for the family in a white neighborhood, gives the rest to Walter who lost it all in a Liquor store scam. Dreams of buying a new house, going to school and opening a business are shared by many Americans but for the Youngers those dreams were harder to achieve than most families. Being African American and poor in the 50’s meant they had to deal with racism, unequal opportunities, financial restraints and even housing segregation when trying to improve their living conditions.
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.
At most times, the American Dream resembles an ideological puzzle more than a fully realizable image. Within the confines of her fantastical, theatrical world Lorraine Hansberry attempts to fit a few of these pieces together and, in the process, ends up showing exactly how everything doesn't just snap-together all nicely. The problems in her play, A Raisin In The Sun, deal primarily with the basic nature of humans and their respected struggle's to "make it" in America.
Throughout Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, we see the positive and negative effects of chasing the American Dream. Hansberry expresses her different views on the American Dream through the characters and she portrays the daily struggles of a 1950 black family throughout A Raisin in the Sun. In this play, she is able to effectively show the big impact that even small decisions can make on a family. Hansberry shows the many different attachments that come with the fulfillment of this American Dream. Throughout A Raisin in the Sun, each family member has their own pursuit of happiness, which is accompanied by their American Dream.
The American dream that Beneatha wants to acquire is to receive a good education, become a doctor, and marry a good man. This is where two key characters come into play; George Murchison and Joseph Asagi. George is shown as stuck up and acting like a rich white person. This shows when George enters the Younger home and
In Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play A Raisin in the Sun a number of social issues are both explicitly and subtly exemplified through out the characters experiences and relationships. Living in a cramped Chicago apartment, the Youngers’ display both influential goals and conflicting restraints. Beneatha Youngers is a controversial character; she complicates society’s typical gender roles, introduces the wrestle between assimilation and ancestry of African-Americans, but specifically serves as a paradigm for her generation in the play.