Racial Struggles In A Raisin In The Sun By Lorraine Hansberry

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In her play, “A Raisin in the Sun,” Lorraine Hansberry projects several conflicts that African Americans faced in the 1950s through her characters. These conflicts include the pressure to either assimilate to the current American standards or to maintain African tradition, the urge to make money to get one’s family out of the ghetto, the need to lead one’s family, and the tough decisions to be made to support and protect the family. Hansberry openly addresses the fact that there was a serious racial issue at the time acting as an obstacle in the family’s dream of leaving the ghetto to start a new, better life in Clybourne Park. By sharing this play, Lorraine Hansberry makes a driven statement that blacks can achieve their dreams, but that …show more content…
In Scene One, he tells Ruth, “…you been thinking about that deal Walter Lee is so interested in, ‘bout the store and all…This ain’t no fly-by-night proposition, baby. I mean we figured it out, me and Willy and Bobo” (33). Walter dreams of using the money to start his own liquor business and make more money for his family to eventually give them a better life. One obstacle of his dream arises in the very first scene of the play with his wife, Ruth. As he tries to tell her about his dream, she repeatedly tells him, “Walter, leave me alone! Eat your eggs, they gonna be cold!” (33). These comments cause Walter to feel emasculated. Speaking up, he says, “That is just what’s wrong with the colored women in this world…Don’t understand about building their men up and making ‘em feel like they somebody. Like they can do something” (34). Furthermore, his mother disapproves of him at times. At one point in the play, she tells him, “You…you are a disgrace to your father’s memory” (75). All of this emotionally hurts Walter, leading him to feel unwanted, as if he has absolutely no voice in his family’s decisions and he cannot do anything. He wants to lead the family and do what he believes best for them, but he struggles to find how he can help. Hansberry resolves Walter’s situation when he turns Mr. Linder down at the very end of the book. He says to Mr. Linder, “And we have …show more content…
She dreams of buying a house for the family in a safe, white neighborhood. She says, “Been thinking that we maybe could meet the notes on a little old two-story somewhere, with a yard where Travis could play in the summertime, if we use part of the insurance for a down payment and everybody kind of pitch in” (44). In addition, she has always dreamed of owning a garden. She tells Ruth, “Well, I always wanted me a garden like I used to see sometimes at the back of houses down home. This plant is close as I ever got to having one” (53). Her plant symbolizes the small, cheap living style they currently have, and Mama dreams of a larger house with an entire garden. Later in the play, she buys the house without telling anybody, explaining, “I-I just seen my family falling apart today…just falling to pieces in front of my eyes…We couldn’t of gone on like we was today. We was going backwards ‘stead of forwards. When it gets like that in life- you just got to do something different” (94). She cares for her family, and she strongly believes in the family maintaining Christian ideals in her house. When Beneatha denies the existence of God, she tells her, “Now—you say after me, in my mother’s house there is still God. … There are some ideas we ain’t going to have in this house. Not long as I am at the head of this family” (51). In everything she does, she wants to protect them

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