A Raisin in the Sun Essay

Lorraine Hansberry’s play “A Raisin in the Sun” was far ahead of its time in both portraying the daily life of black people in a manner that everyone can comprehend and discuss the oppression that black individuals still felt although strides had been taken towards civil rights. According to NPR, Hansberry shared the aims for this play with her husband. “Hansberry informed her husband she wished to compose a social drama about blacks that was great art. Rather of stereotyped characters that would bear no resemblance to actual individuals, she developed a situation that was in some cases painfully practical.

The plot revolves around what her characters do offered the chance to escape their cramped surroundings” (NPR). Much of the product from this play is based on Hansberry’s own life experiences. They are genuine characters. The reader can feel Mom’s love for her family and her desire for them to much better themselves. Travis ought to not have to sleep on the sofa.

Beneatha needs to be able to be a physician, however she needs to beware not to overspeak according to Mom. Beneatha’s frustration with the “out-of-date” concepts of her mom and her sibling’s standard marriage are felt.

She is a dreamer and yet the reader wants to believe with her. Walter’s anger is perfectly justified although it gets him nowhere, and Ruth’s increasing disappointment with her hubby is likewise justified, especially as they are about to bring another kid into the world. The reader hopes that Walter’s plan will work despite the fact that he/she understands it never ever will. In the end, the family accomplishments against difficult odds. They will have to work harder than they ever have to keep their home, and they will never fit into their area.

They will likely face acts of discrimination much more pronounced, but they do not swallow their pride and submit to the needs of Lindner and their neighborhood. Her characters even speak in the dialect of a real Chicago area. She uses a non-standard dialect that would only be spoken in black neighborhoods. Making use of the poem of Langston Hughes called “Dream Deferred” makes the subject and characters much more real. It asks the reader to think about what would occur if someone worked all their lives for a dream and was unable to attain it. The poem then provides choices that fit various people within the play.

Anybody who reads the play can absolutely see the struggles of African Americans. Hansberry was deeply devoted to the defend civil liberties just as her parents had actually been. The struggles of the Younger household parallel the struggles of African Americans in a time where the discrimination was just starting to be faced. According to Books and Writers, in 1959 Hansberry had said in a speech: “The unmistakable roots of the universal solidarity of the colored peoples of the world are no longer “foreseeable” as they remained in my dad’s time– they are here.

And I for one, as a black woman in the United States in the mid-Twentieth Century, feel that I am more normal of today character of my people than not, when I say that I can not permit the devious functions of white supremacy to lead me to any conclusion aside from what might be to a lot of robust and essential one of our time: that the ultimate fate and aspirations of the African peoples and twenty million American Negroes are inextricably and magnificently bound up together forever.” (Books and Writers).

This sums up Hansberry’s ideas about the race and reveals us how the play handles the supremacy of whites. It is clear that the white characters like Karl Lindner and Walter’s employer are better off. Even the blacks who sell out in one way or another like George Murchison or Willy Harris are in better places than the Youngers. This family discovers it practically difficult to get ahead as the whole social structure is opposed to them. And while this is a play about the American Negro, it is also one with a universal style.

It is likewise about the failure of the American Dream, which anyone in whenever duration can associate with. Composing in Commentary, Gerald Weales pointed out that “Walter Lee’s difficulty … is that he has accepted the American misconception of success at its stated value, that he is caught, as Willy Loman [in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman] was trapped by a false dream. In planting so native an image at the center of her play, Miss Hansberry has come as close as possible to what she planned– a play about Negroes which is not just a Negro play.” (Windstorm Research).

To put it simply, she has succeeded in discussing an American Negro household, and yet, making it reasonable and relatable to everybody of every race. This was no simple job. This is reiterated by Critic Harold Clurman, in the Nation, kept in mind that “A Raisin in the Sun is genuine: it is a portrait of the aspirations, anxieties, aspirations, and inconsistent pressures impacting humble Negro fold in an American huge city.” (Gale Research). Much of the historical information in this play comes from Lorraine Hansberry’s own life. She matured on the South Side of Chicago, similar to in the play.

Hansberry’s moms and dads were activists in addition to intellectuals and her dad was a realty agent. He broke a covenant law and moved into a white neighborhood. Their white neighbors tried to evict them. Hansberry’s dad in fact won an antisegregation case that he fought with the aid of the NAACP with the Illinois Supreme Court. These occasions are the occasions on which A Raisin in the Sun was loosely based. When Lorraine was 8, her parents purchased a home in a white community, where they were invited one night by a racist mob.

Their experience of discrimination there led to a civil rights case. Her daddy won the case; the Supreme Court declared that the discrimination was unconstitutional. However, absolutely nothing really occurred in reality as an outcome of winning this case. Hansberry’s family likewise found out about the results of fighting the system as they faced lots of prejudices and acts of discrimination because of their fight, such as a brick being thrown through their window. Hansberry also worked for Flexibility, a progressive black paper from 1950 to 1953, which is seen in the play’s emphasis on civil liberties (FRIEND).

Likewise according to FRIEND, “In 1963 Lorraine Hansberry ended up being really active in the civil liberties motion in the South. She was a field organizer for CORE” (PAL). Once again, her focus on civil rights in the play comes out of her own beliefs and actions. In the play the subject is covered very completely as the Younger household buys a house in a white area. Houses in black neighborhoods were double the price, and their dream is to leave the run-down house. In discussing this, Hansberry lays out the discrimination built into real estate in Chicago and other metropolitan areas.

So, they purchased the house in the white neighborhood and are elated, but their elation is short-term since Mr. Lindner shows up. The household fights back as he tries to talk them out of moving by stating things like, “I desire you to believe me when I tell you that race prejudice just does not enter into it. It is a matter of the people of Clybourne Park believing, rightly or wrongly, as I say, that for the happiness of all concerned that our Negro households are happier when they reside in their own neighborhoods” (Hansberry 2. 3. 65).

He ends with a statement about Linder hoping the family knows what they are getting themselves into. In the end, even after Walter loses the money, the household decides to move anyway. They will take additional tasks to make certain that their children have a better life. Hansberry’s interest in Africa started at an early age. According to Books and Writers, in an incomplete, partially autobiographical unique Hansberry composed: “In her feelings she was derived from the Southern Zulu and the Central Pygmy, the Eastern Watusi and the treacherous slave-trading Western Ashanti themselves.

She was Kikuyu and Masai, ancient cousins of hers had made the beautiful created sculpture at Benin, while certainly a lot more ancient loved ones sat upon the throne at Abu Simbel supervising the Nile …” (Book and Writers). This love of and interest in Africa is shown through both Asagai and Beneatha. Beneatha and Asagai reveal this interest in African pride in a time in America that was well prior to Africans started taking interest in their roots or going back to Africa.

Asagai is from Africa and has great pride in it; Beneatha has an interest in her roots despite the fact that she does things like correct her hair, which Asagai states is assimilationist. Asagai even charms her with his pride in his nation. For instance, “I will show you our mountains and our stars; and offer you cool beverages from gourds, and teach you the old tunes and the methods of our people” (Hansberry 3. 1. 55). While Walter makes fun of all the African conversation, that is likewise traditionally precise ahead of its time. Numerous Africans had an interest in their past and wanted to learn more about their awful past.

Some, such as Malcolm X, even went so far as to change their name to reflect their previous slave status. Others thought the interest was dumb, a part of their past, not their future. Lorraine Hansberry also puts Beneatha forth as a feminist long prior to ladies began requiring their rights. The National Organization for Women was not formed up until the late 1960s. Yet Beneatha is a feminist. When Asagai makes the declaration, “For a lady it must suffice”, Beneatha responds, “I know– because that’s what it states in all the books that guys compose. But it isn’t.

Go on and laugh– however I’m not interested in being somebody’s little episode in America” (Hansberry 1. 2. 114). She wants to be a doctor, and her conviction is so strong that the reader believes her. Hansberry was also a feminist ahead of her time to put these ideas into composing. Although Beneatha seems to “sweep” from something to another, she remains in the procedure of discovering her identity. Exploring options and experiencing life is the manner in which she will find herself as well as having varied good friends like Joseph Asagai. Even her name implies that she believes whatever is below her.

Sometimes annoying, Beneatha is a real feminist prior to her time. Feminist as anything else is a development in entering into womanhood. For instance, Mother speaks matter-of-factly of her other half’s womanizing ways. She does not condemn him, however appears to accept that womanizing is what males do. Ruth would not put up with that from Walter although she does accept him on a number of celebrations. She likewise has a more gentle method of getting him to come around. Beneatha represents the “new woman” or feminist because she would not bear with any of this.

She wishes to forge her own identity independent of a male. She believes that individuals need to accept her as she is and declined to “be nice” as Mother tells her. This play also reveals the modification in black magics and intellectualism. According to Schmoop, “A Raisin in the Sun becomes part of more comprehensive shift in witchcraft towards portraying working-class, regular African-Africans. Previously, black intellectuals did not utilize literature, art, or the phase to represent working-class African-Americans for worry they would perpetuate undesirable stereotypes.” (Schmoop).

Lorraine Hansberry and Langston Hughes both believed this idea ludicrous. They, in truth, felt the opposite. They felt that they might challenge these stereotypes by blogging about them. Likewise according to Schmoop, “By focusing on the dreams and aspirations of one specific working-class black household, furthermore, Hansberry was able to reveal audiences the universality of black aspirations while also showing that their race postured a considerable barrier to attaining those objectives” (Schmoop). That is precisely what Hansberry did. She revealed the trials and struggles of one household.

The household is black, and some of the styles only those of color could relate to however others are universal– household love, brother or sister rivalry, desiring the very best for children, wanting to earn money and have more, etc. A Raisin in the Sun is a skillful play. While some see it extremely simple, Hansberry provides us the range of African American action to the injustice that was still occurring. Walter is simply mad. Mother and Ruth are more worried about simply managing and supplying much better chances for the next generation. Willy Harris steals from his own to get ahead, and George Murchison rejects his own childhood.

Asagai also rejects American methods, but he is African. Beneatha most represents Lorraine Hansberry as she attempts to eliminate the system, fight society’s expectations of her as a black lady, and forge her own identity. All emotions are represented in this play.

Works Cited Books and Writers. http://www. kirjasto. sci. fi/corhans. htm http://www. shmoop. com/intro/literature/ lorraine-hansberry/a-raisin-in-the-sun. html Colas, Brandon. Lorraine Hansberry. A Raisin in the Sun. The Ghetto Trap. Retrieved November 28, 2008 at http://www. literature-study-online. com/essays/hansberry.

html Corley, Cheryl. A Raisin in the Sun. March 11. 2002. NPR. Retrieved November 26, 2008 at http://www. npr. org/programs/morning/ features/patc/raisin/ Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. “Lorraine Hansberry.” Authors and Artists for Young Person. Vol. 25. Gale Research study, 1998. Replicated in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Wind. 2007. http://www. edupaperback. org/showauth. cfm? authid=93 Reuben, Paul. BUDDY: Viewpoints in American Literature. Recovered November 27, 2008 at http://www. csustan. edu/English/reuben/ pal/chap8/hansberry. html

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