Conflicts In An American Family In Play A Raisin In The Sun By Lorraine Hansberry

1207 words - 5 pages

Conflicts in an American Family in play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

The play “A Raisin in the Sun” illustrates three main conflicts in the younger family life; they are internal, social, and interpersonal. The conflicts in the story give insight as to who the characters are and what they really want out of life. Conflict is one of the underlying themes in the play, which was written by Lorraine Hansberry, it helps to tell the story and explain the situation that the Younger family is in. The characters in this story were African American, but they could have been from any ethnic group because the problems that they have to face apply to us all. Ossie Davis said it best when he said the “ it didn’t really have to be about Negroes at all” (Davis, 184).
The Younger family is constantly at each other’s throats about one thing or another. The one item that nobody can really agree on is the insurance check from Big Walter’s death. The Younger family lives in a small apartment and has very little in the way of money. The check that Lena Younger is about to get will be a fortune for them. Each character has their own dreams and the money seems to be the way to make those dreams real. Walter Younger is very outspoken with what he wants to do with the money. Walter wants to use it to open up a liquor store so that he can finally start to support himself and his family. Walter Lee thinks that the money can buy him social status in a white mans world (Cheney, 56). The one problem Walter has however is that his mother does not like liquor, which was typical of most southern black woman (56), and she thinks that Walter has a lot of growing up to do. Beneatha, who is Walters younger sister, has bigger plans for the money; plans that here mother agrees with wholeheartedly. Her life’s ambition up to this point is to become a doctor “I’m going to be a doctor “ (Hansberry 1.1 1024-1025). Beneatha feels that by becoming a doctor she will have a new life (Cheney, 58). However like everything else in this play there are obstacles to overcome. The biggest obstacle is the fact that she is a black woman. In the sixties woman in general were treated unequally much less a black woman. The second obstacle is her brothers Walter “… go be a nurse like other woman” (Hansberry 1.1 1019). Walter is very much opposed to his sister’s education because of the fact that he wants to use the money to fund his dream.
Characters in the play, aside from fighting with each other also have to deal with their own internal struggles. The best example of this sort of internal conflict is Ruth. Ruth is pregnant and does not know what to do. She wants to get an abortion to prevent putting any more strain on the family (Cheney, 61). She also feels that by having a baby it could put more pressure on Walter and instead of him wanting to sell liquor he will start to consume it and destroy his life. Lena is another one of the characters that faces an internal conflict. Her...

Find Another Essay On Conflicts in an American Family in play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

A Raisin in The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

1278 words - 5 pages A young African American male named Walter Lee Younger had a marvelous dream of owning a liquor store. Despite of his current status, his job as a shofar, and not being the dominant one in his family, Walter faces several obstacles that would possible hold his dream off to the side. In the well-known play, A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry portrays the Younger’s family, who lives in a part of Chicago. The Younger family deals with trials and

Chasing the American Dream in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

1230 words - 5 pages Chasing the American Dream in A Raisin in the Sun A Raisin in the Sun is a play about an African-American family living on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s. This family is going through many struggles, both within the family and financially. The family is awaiting an insurance check. The story focuses on the individual dreams of each family member and what they want to do with the money. The family struggles to mend their family issues

Idea of the "American Dream" in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

901 words - 4 pages Since the 1930's, the idea that a family, a home, opportunity, money and security being available to everyone in the US has been the "American Dream." Unfortunately, in reality this dream isn't really available to everyone, not then and not now. The idea of an "American Dream" is examined throughout Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun as the theme of the play surrounds itself around Langston Hughes' poem, "Harlem" where Hughes

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry: A Criticism of the American Dream Analytical Paper

1428 words - 6 pages , freedom, justice, and more fruitful future prospects for the coming generations. In A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, she shows that achieving one’s dream, especially the American Dream can be difficult, through characterization, conflict, and setting. The conception of the American Dream has since long been distorted and the principals have undergone, as John E. Nestler depicts it in his essay “The American Dream”, “a metamorphosis” from

Character change in the play "Raisin in the Sun", written by Lorraine Hansberry

895 words - 4 pages Throughout the play Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry, there are many characters that experience life-altering events. However, the future of one's life is dependent on how one changes in order to reflect these experiences. Confucius himself once said, "They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom." In order to be truly happy and wise, one must change themselves in accordance with their environment and

Use of Imagery in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

722 words - 3 pages ” Lorraine Hansberry uses imagery as a way to supplement the setting of a small apartment in Chicago by transforming an ordinary household plant into something that intertwines with the overall sense of hope and oppression felt throughout the play. Hansberry opens the first scene by painting a dismal picture of an apartment, describing the main living area as weary, dusky and cramped with a “single window” by which a fragment of sunlight “fights its way

"Families" - A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

1146 words - 5 pages all families seem to look different and serve different purposes, all families are similar in some shape or form. A family can be made up the traditional dad, mom, and kids or any combination of people who are usually blood related or related by marriage. In the two plays, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, Lena "Mama" Younger and Amanda Wingfield are similar and different in many ways such as

Awake and Sing by Clifford Odet versus A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

649 words - 3 pages Clifford Odet's play, "Awake and Sing", and Lorraine Hansberry's play, "A Raisin in the Sun", both revolve around the struggle of attaining the American dream during the hardships of a struggling economy and most important the value of a family. By analyzing the main characters, Ralph and Walter, it can be seen that even though they wish to use the insurance money to fulfill their dream they eventually realize that with family they can survive

"A Raisin in The Sun" by Lorraine Hansberry: Personal influence and pressure

555 words - 2 pages life; he symbolizes a savior figure for this fragile, vulnerable, but intelligent young woman. Throughout the play, "A Raisin in the Sun," by Lorraine Hansberry, Asagai's influential behavior is illustrated by his caring devotion to helping others, and his ceaseless pride. During the course of the play, he instills a sense of pride within Beneatha, along with renewing her faith and motivation.His thoughtful and morally valuable gifts for Beneatha

Racial Injustice in A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry and Sonny’s Blues, by James Baldwin

1939 words - 8 pages this play, and Hansberry was investigated by FBI. Robin Bernstein wrote in "Inventing a Fishbowl: White Supremacy and the Critical Reception of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun." essay that “Even the FBI, which investigated Lorraine Hansberry as a possible "danger to the Republic," labeled the play "not propagandistic." This description, regarded as flattering by the FBI, revealed an unwillingness to engage with--or even recognize--the

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

693 words - 3 pages A Raisin in the Sun In A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry portrays obstacles that the Younger family and other African Americans had to face and over come during the post World War 2 era. Obstacles that had to be over come by the Youngers were economical, moral, social, and racist obstacles. Lorraine Hansberry, the author of the play had to face one of these as well growing up. Born in Chicago on the

Similar Essays

"Raisin In The Sun" By Lorraine Hansberry.

576 words - 2 pages from fully obtaining her dream, because the dreams of her children remain unfulfilled. Whether it's owning a liquor store, becoming a doctor or providing for the family, living in poverty can hold people back from their dreams.Characters shaped by poverty are well demonstrated in the play, A Raisin in the Sun. Poverty shapes living conditions by being forced to own old furnishings, deal with cockroaches and share a bathroom. People's dreams are often lost in poverty; Walter didn't own a liquor store, Beneatha doesn't go through with becoming a doctor and Mama didn't fully provide for her family. Poverty has the ability to shape people's lives.

Timeless Themes A Raisin In The Sun By Lorraine Hansberry

1610 words - 6 pages One of the most notable plays on the topic of racial minorities and family issues, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, has continued to be popular since it was written in 1959. The play is about an African American family, consisting of five members, who live in Southside Chicago during the post-World-War-Two era. The Younger family is crowded in a tiny, worn, and shabby apartment and they are fairly poor. They never have much surplus

A Raisin In The Sun By Lorraine Hansberry

1081 words - 4 pages Lorraine Hansberry’s play, “A Raisin in the Sun” is a realistic drama pivoting around a black, American family’s economic and social struggle against the prejudice that occurs in Chicago during the nineteen fifties. The Youngers’ colorful personalities cause much confrontation and anguish in their small, stifling apartment. In his essay, “A Raisin in the Sun Revisited,” J. Charles Washington, suggests that “our literary judgments, to a large

A Raisin In The Sun By Lorraine Hansberry

806 words - 3 pages and support had to be after his father's death and the money that his father designated as security for him and his family was gone too. Works Cited Hansberry, Lorraine. "A Raisin in the Sun." New York: Vintage Books, 1994. Washington, Gladys. "A Raisin in the Sun." Masterplots II: African-American Literature Series. Salem Press, 1994.