The Action Of The Play

1233 Words5 Pages
“The action of the play is set in Chicago’s Southside, sometime between World War II and the present;” A Raisin In The Sun extinguishes any idea that women are or should be only housewives (Hansberry 1457). The play follows a family of five after the devastating loss of Lena’s husband. The family enquires an insurance check that allows hope to envelop the characters. Lena makes the decision to use the check to buy a house so that her grandson, Travis can finally have his own room. In the meantime, Walter Lee, Lena’s son wants to use the money to open a liquor store. The women of the play, Ruth, Beneatha, and Lena and are all at different points in their lives. Ruth is a fairly new mother and wife, Beneatha is dating two men while studying…show more content…
Walter tells Beneatha that he does not understand why she wants to become a doctor instead of being a nurse or getting married like “other women” (Washington). During the time of this play men did not see a problem with telling women how they should or should not act. In the play, Beneatha represents the evolving black youth of America during the mid-1900s because of her liberal views on society and rejection to gender and racial norms. During the play Beneatha is enrolled in a higher education to become a doctor. She does not believe in the traditional roles of women and rejects the “white America” idea while pursuing her African roots. She dates two men at the same time, does not believe in God, and thinks women deserve the same amount of respect as men (Mafe). Therefore, she defies the obvious roles that society has set for her. At the same time, she submits herself to her boyfriends’, Asagai, view of how black women in America should act. The motif of Benetha seeking her role in the world is prevelant when her Nigerian boyfriend, Asagai, helps to discover who she wants to be. Beneatha subconsciously accepts her role as a woman who is less than a man because she tries remarkably hard to fit into the African roots that Asagia has laid out for her. She trades her straight hair for natural locks, wears African robes, and dances to the native Nigerian music(Mafe). Therefore, Beneatha defies most gender norms, but also latently accepts her inferiority
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