A Raisin In The Sun Theme Essay

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A Raisin in the Sun Title Controversy; Emotion v. Plot
Titles are not to be taken lightly as they are what a reader keeps in mind throughout a piece. “Mother to Son” and “Harlem” are both written by Langston Hughes and portray the struggles of maintaining a dream during difficult times. “Mother to Son” uses the extended metaphor of a staircase that parallels the struggles and overall actions in the play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, while “Harlem” uses graphic images in order to form a well developed motif and mood of the idealistic dream, which is matched in the play. As a title is meant to add to a piece of work, and enhance a certain idea the author deems significant, Lorraine Hansberry contemplated using the title The Crystal
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The symbolic nature of the plant, representing the family, is seen throughout the play to help the audience have something to compare the family with. Similarly, the crystal stair in “Mother to Son” represents life without a struggle, and the difference of traveling on the harder path. Hansberry’s work not only focuses on the relationship between Mama and Walter Lee Younger (her son), but also the struggles of being an African American and the racial prejudice faced daily. Each member of the family must tackle problems, and their economic background highly affects each situation. In what should be an incredibly sad work, is actually lively and fun, filled with positivity that teaches people to separate brief happy moments from the cloud of pain. The closing spoken lines by Mama, “All right, honey-go on down. I be down directly” (151) is interesting to compare to “I’se still climbin’/And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair” (lines 19 & 20) of “Mother to Son.” Both pieces express the availability of hope and success, but even though one …show more content…
“Harlem” is able to show the pain of losing a dream. Whether it be Mama, Walter, Ruth, Beneatha, Travis or any of the supporting characters, everyone has dreams and goals. Hughes’s ability to deromanticize desires, to strip away the gauzy film Hollywood has put up, and replace it with the much more uninhibited and realistic version, can be perfectly paired with A Raisin in the Sun. The Younger family could have been written as people just struggling to make do, trying to succeed, and hilariously failing in a way that does not discuss racial, sexist, and economic issues. Instead, Hansberry portrays the rawness in each character, the complexity of trying to hold onto their own desires, as well as their duty in their respective roles as individuals, just as Harlem spares no details in expressing the gritty details. This could seem like a match made in heaven, however, “Mother to Son” is able to achieve more. This poem elevates A Raisin in the Sun, to a level the other poem cannot. The extended metaphor of the crystal stair allows readers of the poem to understand the struggles and the inequalities of the world. For those fortunate enough to have been given the crystal stair, both the poem and the play offer a chance to understand the other side

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