You are watching: Themes of a raisin in the sun
Dreams: anyone in the play has a dream. However, achieve one"s desires proves a complicated endeavor, particularly when factors like race, class, and gender interfere. Selfishness: Lena"s selfless desire to administer for her family members is contrasted v her childrens" an ext selfish concerns. Walter"s cynicism disputes with Lena"s id in hard work.Race: as soon as Lena puts a down payment top top a house in a mainly white neighborhood, the community association tries come buy the house ago in stimulate to keep the Youngers out, highlighting the obstacles erected by racism.
Themes and also Meanings
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In 1957, when Lorraine Hansberry started work top top A Raisin in the Sun, she titled it Crystal Stair , taken from a line in a Langston Hughes poem, “Mother to Son.” The last title, like the original one, also comes from a Hughes poem, “Harlem,” which asks the question,...
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In 1957, once Lorraine Hansberry started work top top A Raisin in the Sun, she title it Crystal Stair, taken indigenous a line in a Langston Hughes poem, “Mother come Son.” The final title, prefer the initial one, additionally comes native a Hughes poem, “Harlem,” which asks the question, “What happens to a dream deferred/ go it dried up favor a raisin in the Sun?” Either title is appropriate, for definitely this is a play around a mother-son relationship, yet it is no much less a play around dreams, dreams too lengthy deferred. This unfulfilled desires are in ~ the center of the play and are the resource of the varied troubles in the play. The way in i m sorry Hansberry presents these problems and also the skill with i beg your pardon she weaves them into the basic theme the the job-related attest the artistry of the playwright.
A Raisin in the Sun is rife with conflicts: generational conflicts, gender conflicts, ideological conflicts, and perhaps many important, conflicts of dreams, which space at the facility of the play. Through placing 3 generations in the same cramped quarters, Hansberry focuses significantly on few of the crucial differences in between age and also youth. Mama Younger’s issue is always for the welfare of she children. She wants to provide for Beneatha’s education and also find a comfortable house for the family. She and also her husband, large Walter, had actually struggled to make life far better for the children. Return he had actually literally functioned himself come death, he had taken out the $10,000 life insurance plan as protection for them.
Beneatha and also Walter Lee, top top the various other hand, are more selfish in your concerns. Beneatha squanders money top top frivolous pursuits and also devotes her fist to her an individual relationships, when Walter is oblivious come the requirements of everyone else, with the feasible exception the his son, in his obsession v the dream of becoming a businessman. Travis, in common childlike fashion, manipulates every the adults in the beat in stimulate to attain his very own ends.
ideology system conflicts also abound, feeding right into the major theme the the novel. Beneatha, having actually been newly exposed to some radical concepts in the college setting, has actually abandoned the God-centered Christian belief of her mother and also has embraced atheism, or at least secular humanism. The significant clash in between these two ideologies comes in a dramatic step in i beg your pardon Mama forces Beneatha come acknowledge, at least verbally, the visibility of God by forcing she to repeat the expression “In my mother’s house, over there is always God.” In sharp contrast to Mama Younger’s approach of success v faith and hard occupational is Walter Lee’s philosophy of the “takers and also the tooken.” the adopts this philosophy after being deceived by his friend, Willie. Mama Younger denounces this viewpoint when, in a powerful speech reminding Walter Lee of his heritage, she says, “Son, i come from five generations that slaves and sharecroppers—but aint nobody in my household never permit nobody pay ’em no money that was a way of informing us we wasn’t fit come walk the earth. Us aint never ever been the poor.”
In George Murchison, a rich young afri American university student, and also Asagai, a bad Nigerian university student—both suitors that Beneatha—Hansberry focuses on the conflicts in between wealth and position versus heritage and also tradition. Murchison provides Beneatha a life that opulence and also comfort, when Asagai offers her a life steeped in genealogical tradition yet devoid of creature comforts. Hansberry does no attempt to settle this conflict, choosing rather to leaving Beneatha undecided in ~ the end of the play, suggesting the difficulty of together a choice. The Beneatha-Asagai relationship also introduces right into the drama the design template of pan-Africanism, a theme widespread in african American drama that this period. With the romantic involvement of this two, Hansberry manages to connect the African battle for freedom with the afri American struggle for self-identity and self-determination.
Furthermore, in she portrayal that Beneatha together a fiercely independent, self-assured woman, identified to success in the medical profession, Hansberry introduce the layout of feminism, a novel one at this time not just in afri American literature but additionally in American literature in general. Also Walter Lee expresses the common male-chauvinist suggest of watch as that taunts Beneatha around her ambitions: “If you are going to clinical school, why no be a nurse choose everyone else.”
The feminist template is amplified by the portrayal the the two various other women in the play. Every in her own way reflects some aspect of feminism. Lena Younger (Mama) is the summary of the self-reliant woman, having operated side by side v her husband to provide for the family and continuing to it is in its stabilizing force. Ruth, on the various other hand, appears to hold reasonably traditional ideas around motherhood, however she finds herself, there is no the counsel of she husband, considering abortion as an alternative to bringing another child right into the world. Back the abortion template is simply touched ~ above in this play, the means is opened up for various other writers to treat it much more thoroughly in future plays.
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In A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry raises many issues of race, gender, family members values, religion, and ethics. The play poses many much more problems than it resolves or even attempts to resolve; therein lies the complexity and the realism that the drama.