Literary Analysis – A Raisin in the Sun Essay

In the play, A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, the Younger’s are a poverty stricken, African American, extended family of five living in a studio apartment in Chicago during the 1950’s. The mom, Lena receives a life insurance coverage look for her deceased other half for ten thousand dollars and wishes to utilize a portion of it to produce a better life for her household and buy a house. The play covers the various ideas that each member of the family has in regards to how the cash needs to be spent and the hardships that develop from those concepts.

The three Younger ladies, Lena a strong willed older woman with conventional values, Ruth a middle aged effort female, and Beneatha a young, egotistical college student, all have special qualities which have been formed by the various time periods which they have lived in. Lena Younger, (Mom) is a strong, spiritual lady whose generation “was worried about not getting lynched and getting to the north … and still having dignity too” (1177) has recently became the head of the Younger family due to the death of her spouse.

Her dream is to acquire a home for her household with the $10,000 she is getting from her husband’s life insurance. Mother “come from 5 generations of people who was slaves and share-croppers (1204) that taught her to take pride in herself and her family. She was raised in a generation where the men decided for his family and the spouse supported whatever that choice was. Shasta Gaughen suggests that it wasn’t until the late 1950’s and early 1960’s that females started leaving the home and taking on functions other than just a housewife. Mom grew up where religious beliefs was the foundation of the household, youth respected their seniors and the power of the dollar did not consume your life, “Once upon a time flexibility use to be life– now it’s money” (1177) She desires her son to step up and take over the head of home role, however his fascination with cash and opening a liquor shop obstructs of him doing so. Mother feels the generation gap between herself and her children “do not let us comprehend each other” (1168) and continues to trigger dispute for the household throughout the play.

She fights with her children’s obsession of cash and concerns the type of adults they are becoming. The one soft side of Mama is her grandson Travis. When Ruth is trying to penalize Travis, Mom steps in and makes excuses for his actions which creates tension between Mom and Ruth. Ruth Younger, Mother’s daughter-in-law, is a hard working, tired woman who believes in conventional worths that resemble that of Mother’s. They both share the dream of purchasing a home and making a much better life for the household. The tension of living in poverty has actually worn her down for many years and because of this she makes rash choices that she otherwise would never ever do. This is made obvious when she ponders having an abortion instead of bringing another monetary burden into their lives. Her partner’s obsession with financial things is causing dispute in their marriage and she does her finest to communicate this to him “Remember how we used to talk … about the method we were going to live … well it’s all beginning to escape from us” (1183 ).

Beneatha Younger, Mother’s daughter, is a young egotistical university student who is youthful and determined to become a medical professional so she can make a distinction in the world. She is the most informed of the females and comes from an entirely various generation than the other two females. With her generation we start to see females fighting for equal rights. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white bus rider which was a custom in the south. When she is jailed the black community boycotts the buses for a year which motivates blacks and females elsewhere (A&E Networks). Beneatha is having a hard time to find her own identity in these changing times and is dating two males with different backgrounds hoping to discover herself. The more education she gets, the harder it is for her to connect to her household and we begin to see the self-centered and egotistical side to her. She puts herself initially and invests cash on reckless items and believes she is much better that the other members of her family.

The main social aspect we see in this play is racial discrimination. The civil liberties motion during the 1950s and 1960s led to new laws that reversed more than 100 years of racial segregation. These began to put an end to inferior education, better housing and public accommodations, equality for not only African Americans, but also women and other races that were victimized (Mikula and Mabunda). Mother purchases a home in an all-white neighborhood since it is less expensive and better quality then what she would get an African American area. Mother is considering her families lifestyle and not how her family is going to impact the community. They receive a check out from a representative of the neighborhood who provides to buy them out since their family simply won’t suit well with the citizens.

Walter refuses this deal, but after losing the money starts to re-think it and contacts Mr. Linder again. The member of the family believe that Walter is going to take the deal which they will never ever run out their hardship stricken environments, however in the end he does not accept it and shows “we originate from individuals who had a great deal of pride … we are really proud people (1206 )” which sticking by your family and not conforming to other’s beliefs make them stronger not just as individuals, but most importantly as a family. Upon reading this entire play, it was easy for me to compare the Younger’s scenario to my own as a child. Maturing, I coped with my bro and my mom. My dad had a kid that passed away of Leukemia and after that lost all desire to live and became an extreme alcoholic. My parents separated when I was 5 and my father did not give us any support. The next time I was to see him, I would be in my late 20’s, apologizing with him on his death bed.

My mom worked at a circulation warehouse for 20 years, which was extremely hard physical labor. We always had a roofing over our heads and a hot meal, but I now understand that had our Church not helped us there would have been times were we would not have actually had heat or electricity. In today’s society, individuals expect handouts from the government. I am happy to state my mom didn’t count on month-to-month handouts and words can not reveal how much respect I have for her. My mom worked for very little and towards the end of her employment individuals were starting at what she was making after working there for 20 years. This scenario taught me how crucial household is and also the worth of a dollar.

I have three boys of my own and even though we are able to give them so much more than I had growing up, I am happy to say they have actually purchased their own vehicles and had consistent jobs throughout school while playing sports and maintaining excellent grades. I feel the worths our youth these days will get from these experiences will just assist their future endeavors and those that have whatever offered to them develop problems in our society as grownups. Just like the Younger’s, I discovered that as family, you stick together and conquer what issues there may be. The worth of the love of your household will always deserve more than anything of monetary value.

Works Pointed out

Gaughen, Shasta. Intro to Women’s Rights: Contemporary Issues Buddy.
Green sanctuary Press, 2003. Web. 23 November 2014.
Mikula, Mark and Mabunda, L. Mpho. Gender Discrimination Excellent American Lawsuit. Vol. 3. Equal Security and Family Law. Detroit: Gale, 1999. Web. 23 November 2014. Staff, History.com. Civil Liberty Movement. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web.

23 November 2014.

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