Gender Roles in a Raisin in the Sun Essay

2036 Words Apr 24th, 2013 9 Pages
Angela Olsen
English 102 ONLN 3
Professor Thea Howey
May 3, 2013
Female Gender in A Raisin in the Sun Lorraine Hansberry was a forward thinker for her time in the 1950’s, which was evident in her writing. “It is believed that hidden behind her work was Hansberry’s own personal struggle with gender” (Wiener 10-11). After many years of marriage and eventually divorce, it was discovered that she was a closet homosexual (Wiener 11). Male and female gender roles are heated topics that have been debated for generations. Women in the United States are still regarded as taking care of and nurturing children as well as the responsibility for taking care of the home. The majority of women in America have a career outside the home, yet still
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He needs this chance, Lena” (42). Ruth rarely speaks of her own dreams and desires, but she also shares the dream of owning a home with Mama. She works in the kitchen for a white family, in addition to various domestic duties from their home, which mainly includes other families’ laundry. This was a common job for African-American women in this era. “Among the troublesome, marginalized issues, is the pregnancy of Ruth. She finds no joy in the prospect of bringing another child into the grim and potentially explosive world, [and] makes plans for an abortion (Wiener 85-86). This decision goes directly against her role as wife and mother in the play. This is also the only decision she makes for herself without consulting anymore. After Mama tries to inform Walter of Ruth’s plans for an abortion and he is in disbelief, she knowingly says, “When the world gets ugly enough-a woman will do anything for her family. The part that’s already living” (75). Ruth is devastated when the money is lost, and the dream of moving is threatened. She clings to the possibility with desperation as evidenced when she says, “I’ll strap my baby on my back if I have to and scrub all the floors in America and wash all the sheets in America if I have to-but we got to MOVE!” (140). Ruth eventually chooses not to have the abortion and her dreams triumph over her fears. Beneatha is Walter’s younger sister, and is every bit as intense in personality. She represents an entirely new, liberated

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