Racism And The American Dream In Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun

1331 words - 5 pages

A Raisin in the Sun is written by a famous African- American play write, Lorraine Hansberry, in 1959. It was a first play written by a black woman and directed by a black man, Lloyd Richards, on Broadway in New York. The story of A Raisin in the Sun is based on Lorraine Hansberry’s own early life experiences, from which she and her whole family had to suffer, in Chicago. Hansberry’s father, Carol Hansberry, also fought a legal battle against a racial restrictive covenant that attempted to stop African- American families from moving in to white neighborhoods. He also made the history by moving his family to the white section of Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood in 1938. The struggle of Lorraine Hansberry’s family inspired her to write the play. The title of the play comes from Langston Hughes’s poem which compares a dream deferred too long to a raisin rotting in the sun. A Raisin in the Sun deals with the fact that family’s and individual’s dreams and inspirations for a better life are not confined to their race, but can be identified with by people with all back grounds.

A Raisin in the Sun is a set in 1950s after the Second World War which was an age of great racism and materialistic in America. It is about a black family living in south side of Chicago and struggling through family and economic hardships, facing the issues of racism, discrimination, and prejudice. The family consists of Lena Younger known as Mama; Walter Lee Younger who is an intense man, Ruth Younger who is wife of Walter Lee, Travis Younger who is son of Ruth and Walter, and Beneatha Younger who is Walter’s younger sister. The whole family lives in a two bed room apartment and don’t have money to live a better life. youngers are tired from their struggle to survive, but a promise of growth inherent in the family name gives them a new courage and to continue it. The story in the play revolves around a $10,000 check from an insurance company, which Mama receives after the death of her husband, and every member of the family wants to use the money in her/ his own ways to benefit the entire family.

Having a dream plays an important role in one’s life and varies from person to person. It makes a person’s life purposeful. Some dreams are achievable and some aren’t, but hard work is essential for both of them. More, there are also some dreams that demand long time along with full dedication and devotion, such as dreams of getting freedom, dignity, status etc. In A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry describes throughout the story that how the dreams of the Younger family become “dreams deferred”. The younger family actually represents to all African- Americans families, who after a very long time, hard struggle, and sacrifices are able to achieve equal rights in the society along with whites.

Lena, Walter, Ruth, and Benaetha all live under one roof, but they all have different dreams. As Lena dreams that the dreams of her children should come true by using the money of...

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