Pride in A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry Essay

1840 Words8 Pages
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. Hansberry promotes a sense of African heritage through her character, Beneatha. She characterizes Beneatha as a college student struggling to find her identity, who tries to achieve such by getting in touch with her roots. The author expresses Beneatha’s struggle with the arguments between her and the rest of her family, namely her mother, Lena. Beneatha tries…show more content…
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. Similarly, Hansberry continues this idea in the opening scene of Act two. This scene opens with Beneatha dressed in traditional Nigerian robes, dancing to Nigerian melody, and singing along with the record. Walter soon joins her and the entire house becomes involved in Beneatha’s enjoyment. By opening the second act as such, Hansberry presents aspects of African culture in an uplifting and celebratory fashion, thus further connecting her characters with their African roots. She evens implies the awareness many young blacks have of their past through the character, George Murchison. The critic Anne Cheney points out: “even George Murchison…has an awareness of his African past” (Cheney 59). She continues to examine the comparisons Hansberry makes regarding Lena to the “earth mother.” Furthermore, Cheney argues that through Asagai, Hansberry refutes the stereotype of Africans with “a bone through his nose, or his ears.” Hansberry contradicts this stereotype by characterizing Asagai instead as a down-to-earth

More about Pride in A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry Essay

Get Access