Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun - Dreams and Racism

1900 Words 8 Pages
Dreams and Racism in A Raisin In The Sun

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.


The story, for the most part, centers upon an African-American family, their dreams for the future and an insurance check coming in for death of the eldest man. Stirring into the mix later is the hugely oppressive,
…show more content…
The only man displayed positively is Asagai and he isn't representing the American ideal of manhood; he is representing the African ideal.


Mama, however, is strong, spiritual and eager to help her children in any way she can. She values family above and beyond all else, but has the deep insight into the other character's motivations even when she doesn't agree. In the middle of the play (at the fuse for the final conflict), she recognizes that Walter is miserable because no one believes in him and his dreams. She gives him a large chunk of the insurance check to invest in a liquor store even thought she doesn't agree with it. She trusts him with it and, when he loses the money to a "trusted friend," she becomes enraged and begins to physically attack him. However, by the next scene she has forgiven him and tells her daughter that she should do the same; "There is always something to love: when do you think the time is to love somebody the most? It's when he's at his lowest and can't believe in hisself 'cause the world done whipped him so!" With those words, Mama seems to symbolize all that is good, solid and peaceful in the world.


These two characters that make up the largest amount of gender specific conflict within the story, but not all of it. Further backing up the idea that plotting is feministic comes from the character Bennie, Walter's sister. She too wants to make something of herself;
Open Document