A Raisin in the Sun Revised: Examining Petrie’s Film Adaptation

The American Dream differs for people, but for most it includes offering a steady house for their kids and making sure future generations will have more chances to become successful. In the play, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, she carefully establishes the characters to permit readers to understand their struggles and attempts to increase above oppression. Director Daniel Petrie adjusted Hansberry’s play into a movie and while the original theme of injustice is still communicated, the delivery of the message is transformed and displays the Youngers’ struggle in a different way. The film adjustment does not totally present the Youngers’ as absolutely impoverished African Americans as Hansberry does, however rather paints the family to be as decent as possible without making them white. Director Petrie, although he tries to embody the style of the obligation of society to eliminate racial discrimination, he takes an even more passive method than Lorraine Hansberry.

In the play, Beneatha is presented as hope versus the oppression she is reduced by which reinforces her central style. However, Petrie decreases her role in developing the main style. Beneatha embraces her ethnic culture in the play, however Petrie removes this aspect in his film. Daniel Petrie’s directorial choices in the motion picture adjustment of A Raisin in the Sun depicts Hansberry’s central message of oppression however he fails to enhance society’s duties for this oppression. In the film Petrie changes the setting of the Youngers’ living-room hence modifying Hansberry’s intent to provide the family as impoverished. Hansberry conveys the message of oppression through the symbolic use of the setting being restricted to the Younger’s living room. The play starts with a physical description of the Younger’s living conditions, making particular referrals to the poor condition of the furnishings. The original furnishings that took all Mr. and Mrs. Younger’s cost savings to purchase is still standing and revealing its wear, “Now the when loved pattern of the sofa upholstery has to combat to show itself from under acres of crocheted doilies and sofa covers which have themselves finally come to be more important than the upholstery” (Hansberry, 1.1). Hansberry effective produces a picture of hardship along with creating a symbol of lost hope. The furnishings is worn, past its prime and in need of being changed however the Youngers do not have the financial means of changing it. Hansberry enables the readers to view the living-room as a sign of the Youngers’ poverty line. What was as soon as purchased as a sign of hope has altered, “Weariness has in reality won in this space. Everything has been polished, cleaned, rested on, utilized, scrubbed too often. All pretenses however the living room itself have actually long since disappeared from the atmosphere of this room” (Hansberry, 1.1). The living room becomes symbolic of the Younger’s predicament, they are tired and broken from trying to advance their position in life. Their possibilities of getting the American Dream has actually begun to fade. Petrie takes a various method with the living-room setting. Although the furniture is slightly dated, the space looks well kept and is recognizable as furniture belonging to the middle class. The accessories such as the rug and the doilies do not appear to be hiding any imperfections but rather act as designs. Petrie catches restrictions of society and mentions their injustice however doesn’t make it the main theme. By representing the Youngers as close to middle class, the audience is able to continue to support the Youngers’ in their quest for a better life without needing to admit there is inequality based solely on the color of the Younger’s skin. This directorial decision in concerns to the setting of the living room rather strengthens the idea of oppression but modifies the role society has in belonging to the service.

Hansberry depicts Beneatha as hope that the future will increase above the injustice; nevertheless, Petrie provides her with less conviction reducing Hansberry’s central style. Through the conversation Beneatha has with her family in concerns to her choice of guys, her character is revealed. Beneatha is involved with 2 males: George who is wealthy and Joseph Asagai who is a mystical male from Nigeria. Her household expects her to wed George as he will supply her with financial security, however Beneatha rejects this idea. Beneatha discusses her intent, “Oh, I simply imply I could not ever really be severe about George. He’s– he’s so shallow” (Hansberry, 1.2). Hansberry’s stage direction for this declaration is prevented with the phase direction that Beneatha is speaking wearily. The inclusion of this tone enhances Beneatha’s aggravation with societal expectations that she will wed any male who can provide her with financial stability. As an African American lady, she is on the bottom of the social hierarchy and not expected to rebel against her status. Nevertheless, Beneatha refuses to send to society’s expectation that her possible husband ought to be based upon wealth rather than character. Hansberry depicts Beneatha tired with societal constraints, communicating the style of society’s duty in suppressing the imagine African Americans. Although in this scene Petrie uses Hansberry’s precise dialogue, he neglects that important stage instructions that Beneatha would speak wearily. His directorial choice modifies the desired tone and moves her aggravation from society onto her family. She appears upset with her household for not appreciating her analysis of George. She doesn’t appear independent nor as a catalyst for change but rather as immature. She has lost her trustworthiness as expect change. By removing a single phase direction, Petrie lessens the impact that Hansberry means for Beneatha and lessens society’s duty for oppression.

Hansberry presents Asagai as a lead character who encourages Beneatha to contradict white society’s restraints, nevertheless Petrie minimizes the significance of Asagai by his directorial decisions. In the play, Joseph Asagai challenges Beneatha to find out more about herself, and her culture. Asagai’s significance in the play is depicted when he gets to the Youngers’ house. He presents Beneatha with genuine African robes and helps her to curtain them correctly, he states “You wear it well … effectively … mutilated hair and all” (Hansberry 1.2). Joseph catches Beneatha off guard, she does not comprehend what is incorrect with her hair. She makes the claim that she straightens her hair not since she sees it as “awful” (Hansberry, 1.2), but because it is difficult to manage. Joseph pushes Beneatha to acknowledge that in controling her natural hair she is trying to blend into the white society, instead of embrace her roots. Joseph encourages Beneatha to accept her heritage and increase above oppressive white society. It’s is her interactions with Joseph that lead Beneatha to an extreme program of disobedience as she cuts off her hair into a carefully cropped, ethnic style. This is Beneatha’s way of welcoming her ethnic culture and making a declaration to society that African Americans shouldn’t have to alter their look to be accepted. Hansberry exposes her theme that white society oppresses African Americans by pushing them into absorbing into white society rather than motivating them to welcome their roots. Petrie not just revises Hansberry’s main style of society obligation for oppression by erasing the reveal of hairstyle scene however likewise the influence of Asagai. Deleting this scene removes both her assimilation into white society and her defiance of those constraints. Petrie’s choice to make Asagai a small character stops working to strengthen Hansberry’s main theme of the responsibility society plays in the oppression of African Americans.

Daniel Petrie makes changes in his film variation of A Raisin in the Sun, thus affecting Hansberry’s central style of society’s obligation of injustice. Petrie modifies Hansberry’s play by making small modifications to the setting, character advancement and interactions. He modifies the setting by the presentation of the Youngers furnishings to give the look that they are less impoverished. Petrie provides Beneatha’s character as foolish and immature instead of Hansberry’s version being an African American ladies welcoming her heritage and rebelling against social restraints. In the play Joseph Asagai plays an essential role in encouraging Beneatha to break through society’s oppression by pressing her to embrace her roots. Petrie, nevertheless, downplays Joseph’s influence and in fact eliminates the really action that shows Beneatha’s defiance of society’s injustice. Hansberry leads the reader to support the characters and their determination to increase above injustice. Petrie however, presents and develops the characters in a way which leads the audience to conclude that although this household has been oppressed they are partially responsible. Words are more open for interpretation if they are just in print form. On the other hand, when the words come to life through interactions the tone and attitudes are less open to analysis.

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