A Raisin in the Sun
During the 1950s, America has seen many racial difficulties which potentially lead to broader issues. A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry, clearly demonstrates some of the struggles faced by racial minority groups. Furthermore, the play explores the individual issues of Mama, Ruth, Walter, Travis, and Beneatha as the main characters try to exist in the society. Also, the storyline revolves around a check, which the main characters have their own hopes for. Even though the family is very tightly bound, the check puts certain cracks in the foundation of the most fundamental beliefs and characteristics. Poverty and extreme discrimination make the matters worst by demolishing the hopes of the Younger family. Thereafter, the mentioned family faces huge heinous difficulties such as poverty, discrimination, and bigotry that put their values and dreams to a legitimate test.
In the play the Younger family encounters variety of hard circumstances, which make the life experience unbearable. Hardships such as extremely low living standards and racial discrimination were seen by the peaceful American family. The owned property exclaims the poor monetary status of the inhabitants, “next thing you know Travis be finished and Mr. Johnson’ll be in there and you’ll be fussing and cussing round here like a madman!”(Hansberry 25). Thus, the living space dedicated to the Younger family lacks the simplest appliances needed to sustain a proper existence. Furthermore, the racial discrimination haunts the African American family throughout their daily lives. During the mid-1950s white colored folks acted as the dominant race, “I sure hope you people know what you’re getting into.”(Hansberry 149). Thereafter, the white man shows his true intentions by intimidating the family of the future and also referring to the Younger’s as a separate group of people. Hansberry points out a few key struggles that the black people faced but the author also challenges the traditional gender roles of the family as well.
Since the beginnings of time the roles of men and women were identified in certain ways in the household environment. Lorraine Hansberry puts the Mama character in charge of the whole family throughout the play. The grandma makes all the basic decisions and rules in the family, “Ruth, put Travis’ good jacket on him … Walter Lee, fix your tie and tuck your shirt in.”(Hansberry 149). This indicates that the female character demonstrates a superior role in the family, by giving instructional orders to the members of the family. In the play the feminine actors definitely possess the overall power and respect. The grandmother being the oldest and wisest member of the family achieves the level of the boss of the family. As seen Mama has the wisdom and skill to control the family actions unlike Walter who lacks the capability to manage anything.
During the entire play, Walter Lee makes the appearance of being extremely irresponsible and arrogant. When Walter lost all his funds which he was kindly entrusted with to perform certain transactions, “Mama … I never … went to the bank at all.”(Hansberry 129). Therefore, absolute carelessness is shown towards the entire family in that scenario. Moreover, the mismanagement of the monetary supplies expresses the fact that Walter contains few characteristics that make a household boss. Along with expressing the rebellion in the gender roles, Hansberry also includes the feelings of individual family members about the new house.
Acquiring a better house in a better neighborhood, significantly impacts the Younger family on an individual basis. A wider economic freedom and an escape from the slums is the definition of buying a house in a white region. Exiting poverty and moving up the social class theory is present in all heads of all members, “And there’s a yard with a little patch of dirt where I could maybe get to grow me few flowers … And a nice big basement.”(Hansberry 92). Thus, Mama is excited to provide more freedom of space and action to the family. Furthermore, the house represents a long wanted freedom for everyone. Moving to a less crime affiliated region and having a larger property where all the people can fit is essential for the entire family. Furthermore, the new property provides better schooling, land ownership, safer environment, and most importantly hope. Receiving a greater opportunity, in the face of a new house is critical but the treatment of the residents of the house’s region, is important as well.
A representative from the Clybourne Park, where the new house awaited the Younger family, was sent to discuss measures with Mama. Karl Lindler arrived in hopes of convincing the black family of keeping out of the white place. Hidden forms of racial prejudice was demonstrated by the welcoming committee chairmen, “I am sure you people must be aware of some of the incidents which have happened in various parts of the city when colored people have moved.”(Hansberry 116). Thereafter, the true colors of the white man appear, when Karl attempts to get to the point. The caged racism is still present in the man but masked under a polite tone of conversation. Seeing the treatment of the Younger family is crucial but analyzing the money crisis in act 3 is also essential.
In the play, a reals struggle began when Walter mismanaged the monetary funds and lost a big amount of money. Naiveness along with a little arrogance is present in the character of Walter Lee Jr. The essence of the fact that Willy betrayed the group hit hard, “Man I trusted you … Man I put my life in your hands.”(Hansberry 128). This indicates that Walter completely trusted the entire fund to a person who stole everything. The money was the definition of survival for the family and Walter just threw the entire existence out the window without ever consulting anyone. Furthermore, the egoistic idea of obtaining the desired, blinded Walter from noticing the true values and possessions present. The character of Walter is discussed but the motif of the action is necessary to mention.
Walter has no blame in the fact that while pursuing the American dream, a couple of significant errors appeared. The man attempts to make his child a happy American in the current society, “You just name it, son … And I will hand you the world.”(Hansberry 109). Therefore, the main dream of the father is to make his son a happy individual. Walter wants his offspring to have the best of the things and to live a fruitful life full of happiness and acceptance. Finally, the reason of opening the liquor store and trying to achieve wealth, contains some egoistic matter but mainly Walter overall goal consists of making his son happy, even though the goal is the head in the clouds pursuing scheme. The failure to satisfy the goals is present in the text but the overall emotions of the family cannot be forgotten.
The Younger family expresses mixed emotions about the financial crisis. Mama demonstrates overlapping emotions in the family about the loss of money, “You mean… your sister’s school money … you used it too … Walter?”(Hansberry 129). Thus, a radiating disappointment along with grief is apparent. More after, plans existed regarding the lost financial assistance. School, the new house, and a proper living conditions is all a ghostly image now. Anger also floats around the Younger family with the intention of causing an argument. Even though the depressing instance with the money occurred, the Younger family made some very life altering decisions in the end.
A lot of cruel occurrences fell upon the Younger family backs, and many complex accommodations had to be implemented. The end decision to move into the new house, expressed the desire for change and a stimulus for a better life by the Younger family. The idea of blacks standing up and fighting for the same place under the sun, is clearly demonstrated in the end of the play. Walter’s decision truly impacted the entire situation in a positive manner, “And we have decided to move into our house because my father – my father – he earned it for us brick by brick.”(Hansberry 148). This expresses, that all people ought to pursue set goals even if such goals seem far and dreamy. The Younger family showcased true idealism when against all odds, the decision to move into a white neighborhood was made. Past issues are critical to the American history but present is also a significant part of life.
Large movements and protests have improved the racial conditions in the United States but many obstacles and instances still prevent the racial problem to be fully resolved. Dilemmas such as racial cleansing and physical distinguishment based upon people’s backgrounds, roam around the country in the current time period. Situational events, such as the murder of a scholarly black man occur today with all the civil rights present, “I felt rage and the old gravity of West Baltimore, the gravity that condemned me to the schools, the streets, the void. Prince Jones had made it through, and still they have taken him.”(Coates 77). Thereafter, the man who overcame poverty and racial difficulties, still ended up receiving a bullet for the sole reason of his skin being black. Furthermore, the officer will face no consequences due to the fact that he is white and the law is on his side. Even the brightest brains have a danger of dying, if the skin on their bodies is not white. This is but one challenge that the minorities face, but other hardships of the American colored people are still visible.
The idea of white dominance is still in the air and floating around freely throughout the country. The superiority of white people has always been considered a factual piece of information, “According to Hana’ Khalief Ghani, In relation to racism, White domination in America is often rationalized by the belief that the inferiority or superiority of groups’ abilities, values, and culture, are linked too physical characteristics such as skin color.” This states that the only measure of a person’s ideology is the color of their skin. Thereafter, the superiority of the whites is simply existent due to the fact that colored skin is viewed as lower quality. The racial egregious struggles are significant but the modern impulsive discrimination is ought to be inspected.
Modern discrimination can be linked very tightly with the past struggles of the minorities. The Younger family in the play, a raisin in the Sun and Ta-Nehisi Coates in the book Between the World and Me, demonstrate similar struggles regarding the discrimination occurring in the United States. Walter feels desperate about the job that enforces other white man to have control over him, “I open and close car doors all day long. I drive a man in his limousine.”(Hansberry 73). Moreover, this shows the level of obedience that Walter needs to show to his employer. Pride, dignity, and self-respect are all the values that Walter needs to give up in order to work the job. Furthermore, the idea of the body ownership is brought forth, “But these officers had my body, could do with that body whatever they pleased.”(Coates 76). This, the imprisonment of the body, is a common idea of people losing the body to superior class group. Both sources show the minorities fearing the idea of the control landing upon them and losing the soul and body to a dominant group.
Racial prejudice and poverty are the main characteristics of the American minority groups. Throughput the history of the Unites States black were subject to horrible unfairness and hate, in addition black people were treated as an outcast and prohibited basic human rights. A great deal of murders and other physical and mental harm was set upon the African American minority groups. Struggles unseen by the general public, chased the black and caused much pain and discomfort. The text shows how people can overcome even the hardest of the problems and still keep a sense of dignity and hope. Motivational texts always contribute to the overall happiness and success of the rest.