Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun - The Importance of the Struggle

1348 Words6 Pages
The Importance of the Struggle in A Raisin in the Sun

“Why do some people persist despite insurmountable obstacles, while others give up quickly or never bother to try” (Gunton 118)? A Raisin in the Sun, a play by Lorraine Hansberry, is a commentary on life and our struggle to comprehend and control it. The last scene in the play between Asagai and Beneatha contrasts two contemporary views on why we keep on trying to change the future, and reaches the conclusion that, far from being a means to an end, the real meaning of life is the struggle. Whether we succeed or not, our lives are purposeful only if we have tried to make the world a better place for ourselves and others- only, in other words, if we follow our dreams.
…show more content…
It was in this sort of mood that Beneatha formulated an idea about the sheer stupidity and cruelty of nature in general and people in specific: "Don't you see there isn't any real progress, there is only one large circle that we march in, around and around, each of us with our own little picture in front of us- our own little mirage that we think is the future"(Hansberry. Raisin). Misery and stupidity are always present: man does not seem capable of eliminating them once and for all. Their existence conspires to thwart dreams, and Beneatha decided that she was tired of the struggle, tired of deluding herself with an unworkable vision, tired of having to fight against the unchangeable facts of life- a view she might have kept, as many have, if it were not for Asagai's gentle reasoning.

For Asagai, the struggle to achieve our own views of the future was the real essence of life. His was the generation of African dreamers who passionately advocated the independence of their continent from colonial rule, for whom revolution and upheaval were generally perceived as the only ways to improve the lot of their homelands. In his country, he lived daily with oppression, misery, and ignorance, met constantly with apathy and indifference or even outright hostility towards his life's aspirations, and yet his determination never faltered. In his short
Get Access