RaisinIn The Sun Test
Araisin in the Sun isthe title of the Hansberry play that was named after a line in thepoem Harlemwritten by Langston Hughes. In this poem, the author asks, “whathappens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in thesun”. Although, Hansberry does not use these words in the title inhis play, the play is full of deferred dreams but at the end onlyone is fulfilled. Thus, the title matches with the whole theme of theplay because each character experiences an unfulfilled dream. Theyounger family constantly encounters obstacles that obstruct thefulfillment of their dreams. Some of their dreams are worth noting,but others are not so dignified.
Theplay title impacts each character in play in a different manner. LenaYounger has a dream of leaving the neighborhood and stop washingpeoples home to make a living. Thus, when she gets the insurancecheck, she secretly uses part of it to put down payment in a whiteneighborhood. Her dream is deferred when Walter in the quest of hisdream gets conned. Meanwhile, Walter dreams of getting rich byinvesting in a liquor store with an ally. All members are against hisdecision because it encourages negative elements in the neighborhood.Unfortunately, Lena gives her son money hoping he will make gooddecisions but he dashes the family’s dream when he gets canned.Beneatha dreams of becoming a doctor and get support from all membersbecause she was the only member with a highest dream. Her motherwants to help her to achieve her dreams by designating some of theinsurance money for her studies. However, the recklessness of Walterdashes her dreams, therefore her dream is deferred. Thus, Araisin in the Sun isthe right title because it matches the major theme of the play.
IntheA Raisin in the Sun, Beneathais the most educated of the Younger’s family that make her seemself-centered and unbearable. Beneatha has two suitors, GeorgeMurchison and Joseph Asagai. George represent a black person who isassimilated into the white world, while Asagai represent the newAfricanist culture that opposes assimilation. George is a fellowcollege student, and son of a healthy African American businessman (Beneatha is attracted to George because of his family and thesignificance of his culture. George sees Beneatha very beautiful andattractive, although she has no intention of defining herself througha man.
Asagaiis African student, complex and appealing. Unlike George, Asagai iswilling to listen to Beneatha and encourages her to take her careerseriously. Thus, Beneatha seems to take his advice seriously. This isdepicted when Asagai teases “she had mutilated her hair”( Act I,scene II, line 32). Shereacts by cutting her hair. George thinks Beneatha interest in herAfrican culture is ridiculous and his comments hurt Beneatha. Thus,she starts feeling more affinity with Asagai who values his culturethan George who she considers to have false roots in Americansociety. However, she has doubts about Asagai because he insists itis only one type of relationship that should exist between couples.
Beneathadoes not respect her suitors values because when George comes to takeher for a date, he finds her draped in the robes Asagai brought herand donning a head wrap. Thus, Beneatha behaves quite differently tothe two suitors depending on the values and beliefs each holds.
Inthe A Raisin in the Sun,the three female characters include Mama, Ruth and Beneatha. Each ofthese characters has different personalities and dreams for thefuture. Mama also referred to as Lena Younger is the mother ofWalter and Beneatha. Meanwhile, she is the matriarch of the Youngerfamily and very religious, moral and maternal. It is the demand ofmama for her child to respect themselves and each other dream(“Price”). She like cleanliness and offers a superb perspectiveof an older generation. Mama constantly reminds her family that shewants to help them be happy and offer them a better life.
Thetension come about where Mama vividly opposes Beneatha lack ofreligious values such as behaviors and thoughts. Beneatha is quitedifferent from a mother because she is young and attractive collegestudent. She offers her family with an independent feminist ideathat is focused on a dream to become a doctor. Beneatha is seen inthe entire play searching for her identity and in most cases she isunsure of herself. Moreover, Beneatha dates two different men basedon their culture.
Meanwhile,Ruth is the wife of Walter and Travis’s mother. However, there istension between her and Mama when she considers the abortion optionbecause it is not religious. Ruth like other two female characterswork hard to maintain the house and struggle to bring the familytogether. Despite her marital challenges, Ruth hold it together andkeep smiling. From a historical view, the three females stand for acomplex time for women. Mama depict a hard working woman and, Ruth isthe most typical among the three with respect to women in thatperiod. Beneatha’s dream to become a doctor shows development andhope for women.
Theyounger familyin theA Raisin in the Sun,by Lorraine Hansberry struggles with the oppression of racism in theplay. The author depicts the Younger family in the late 1950s that ishaunted by poverty and racial oppression. The family struggles tofulfill their ideas in the segregated and racist world of 1950sAmerica. Lena Younger receives 10,000 dollar life insurance checkafter the death of her husband at the start of play. She struggles todecide how best to utilize the money to support the family match theliving standards of whites. The conflict of the play revolves aroundthe various dreams held by younger family.
Thus,Lena decides to give most of money to her son Walter, because heneeded it to maintain his sense of dignity and manhood in the face ofAmerican’s oppression. Lena reserves the rest of money for a downpayment of her dream home (“Hansberry”). Unfortunately, the houseshe intends to buy is located in an all-white – neighborhood. Thefamily was to choose between being bought out by a member of theneighborhood, who felt that the races would get along better by beingseparated, or keep their dignity. They decided to face possibleharassment by the white community by moving into the new house.
Mr.Lindner makes the family to struggle with the oppression of racismbecause he makes the danger of racial discrimination impossible toignore. This is depicted where the Clybourne Park ImprovementAssociation, sends Mr. Lindner to bride the Younger family to moveinto the new house. They threatened to tear apart the family, butfamily stood up to the racism of Lindner and the welcoming committeewith disobedience and strength. Thus, their struggle with theoppression of racism by fighting for their dreams and standingtogether as family demonstrates that racism must be discouraged.
Hansberry,Lorraine ARaisin in the Sun.Vintage Books: New York: Random House, Inc, 1958. Print.
Hansberry,Lorraine. "Walter Younger in A Raisin in the Sun." Shmoop.N.p., 10 Feb. 2011. Web. 7 May 2014.
Price,Lindsay. "A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, Analysisand Activities:: Spotlight: E-News from Theatrefolk." Theatrefolk.N.p., 12 Mar. 2011. Web. 7 May 2014.