Gender And The American Dream Essay

1395 Words Mar 5th, 2015 6 Pages
The Significance of Gender in “A Raisin in the Sun” Gender roles in the 1950s were oppressive. Women were never the head of a household unless there was no other male of age in the family. Women were meant to be seen and not heard and never had anything to say worthwhile. A woman’s place was to stay home tending kids, husband and house. Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 Broadway play “A Raisin in the Sun” not only explores themes such as racism and the American dream but also gender identity. The characters that she creates challenge these ideologies of how a woman should act and a man’s role in a family. Hansberry uses counter stereotypes to add depth to “A Raisin in the Sun.” “A Raisin in the Sun” centers on a struggling African American family. Its playwright, Lorraine Hansberry, on the contrary, came from a well-rounded background. Her parents were wealthy, and she received a great education despite it being uncommon for a young girl during that time period. Yet Hansberry loosely based some of the events that happen in the play on her past experiences. After attending New School for Social Research in New York City, she worked as writer and associate editor. She often touched on controversial topics such as feminism and homophobia. Her first play, “A Raisin in the Sun” received great commercial success. It was the first Broadway play penned by a black woman. Hansberry paved the way for many other African American playwrights such as James Baldwin, and feminist playwright…

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