She becomes willing to sacrifice anything for her children’s future. However, one can argue that the catalyst for her family’s success is money, wealth. A Raisin in the Sun is a play telling the story of an African-American tragedy. The Younger family lives in the ghetto and is at a crossroads after the father’s death. Mother Lena Younger and her grown up children Walter Lee and Beneatha share a cramped apartment buying coursework in a poor district of Chicago, in which she and Walter Lee’s wife Ruth and son Travis barely fit together inside. Lena’s husband, the family’s father died and his life insurance brings the family $ 10,000.

The major theme is that families must remain united; when family members act selfishly, as Walter does when he takes his mother’s money and invests it in a fly-by-night scheme to buy a liquor store, the family may disintegrate. At the last minute, however, Walter realizes what he is doing and abruptly rejects Lindner’s offer . The problem of moving into a White neighborhood lies in the future.

a raisin in the sun theme essay

Mama is the king of the house and always makes sure that her family are taken care of and that each one is a good person. She wants them to have more respect for themselves and to succeed. She wants a big happy family that can live together in a big house, and Ruth got so happy when she found out mama bought a house. The American Dream is the idea that everyone living in the US has a uniform chance to attain their dream through perseverance, hard work, and aspiration.

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Beneatha and her brother Walter didn’t agree on what a better life actually was. Beneatha thinks Walter’s idea is a waste of money, and she thinks Walter doesn’t have the drive or skills to be successful and is happy mama said no to the liquor store. However, if one focuses on how African Americans would encounter the work’s theme of Black achievement, the terms of the debate change. In the Younger household, success is defined in patriarchal terms, devaluing half the community. Scholars and readers rarely notice this, however, because most insist upon seeing Mama Lena as the embodiment of resistance to racism. Besides slapping Beneatha, she “starts to beat senselessly in the face” for losing the insurance money.

  • Every morning mama waters her plants and tells everyone that even though it doesn’t get enough sunlight it’s still breathing need someone to write my paper.
  • By leaving their dingy apartment, the Younger family would be able to escape poverty and create a new life.
  • And this devotion has been repaid with an extraordinary and continuing popularity, as well as with a stil…
  • The Youngers are about to receive an insurance check for ten-thousand dollars which was a lot back in the 1950s.
  • The playwright is well ahead of her times in her creation of these characters.

The house was “protected” by a racially restrictive covenant, which legally prevented ownership or occupancy of property by blacks. The covenant was enforced, the Hansberry family was evicted and Carl Hansberry sued. The case made it to the United States Supreme Court; Hansberry v. Lee , however, did not overturn the constitutionality of racially restrictive covenants. It wasn’t until 1948, in Shelley v. Kraemer, that the court would find such covenants discriminatory. The play remains a potent touchstone, still speaking to viewers about race, gender roles, family, hope and desperation, capitalism, the American dream and so much more. The 2010 Bruce Norris play Clybourne Park depicts the white family that sold the house to the Youngers.

Race, Discrimination, And Assimilation

In the play, Beneatha is presented as hope against the oppression she is suppressed by which reinforces her central theme. However, Petrie minimizes her role in establishing the central theme. Beneatha embraces her ethnicity in the play, however Petrie removes this aspect in his film. Daniel Petrie’s directorial decisions in the movie adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun portrays Hansberry’s central message of oppression however he fails to reinforce society’s responsibilities for this oppression. In the film Petrie alters the setting of the Youngers’ living room thus revising Hansberry’s intent to present the family as impoverished.

a raisin in the sun theme essay

The issue of religion causes many arguments to occur between Beneatha and Mama, due to their different views. Beneatha, despite knowing that her mother is a religious woman, insists that “there simply is no blasted God – there is only man and it is he who makes miracles” . Mama, deeply offended and disappointed in her daughter, is unable to control her anger. She slaps Beneatha across the face and insists she repeat the phrase “In my mother’s house there is still God” .

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Mama’s daughters name is Beneatha younger she is an aspiring doctor and she knows she can do it even with her being an African American woman. Then there’s the youngest which you do not really hear a lot about he is walter and ruth’s son his name is travis all he wants to do is have a real house. In the play and Lorraine Hansberry’s life, there are many connections.

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