The Color Purple, And Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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Men, for many years, have been considered as the head of the family while women were more compliant, however that changes in the 1900s as women break from their traditional roles thus causing a shift in the men’s roles. According to The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, Lorraine Hansberry was “the first black woman to have a play produced on Broadway” (Gates 1768). Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun is set around 1959 in Chicago and it is about the Younger family facing situations after the death of their father. Walter Younger is somebody, who at first, only cared about monetary gain and achieving his dreams, while his sister, Beneatha, who breaks the traditional role of women, trying to find who she is, and dreams of becoming …show more content…
While Alice Walker’s novel The Color Purple, which was “the first novel by an African-American woman” to win a Pulitzer Prize which had received controversy over (Gates 2425). The Color Purple is set in the early 1900s in Georgia where a woman named Celie, who writes letters to God and her sister telling about what she is experiencing throughout her life as she finds her independence. Celie encounters several people in her life in which one is she step-son, Harpo, who has trouble stepping into the role of being the dominant male in his marriage. While Harpo’s wife, Sofia, an independent woman who refuses to yield to anyone. Lastly, Shug Avery, is a singer who develops a close relationship with Celie, but she does not fall into the stereotypical role of women. In both A Raisin in the Sun and The Color Purple there is a shift in the traditional role of women in Hansberry’s character Beneatha and in Walker’s characters, Sofia and Shug Avery. Another similarity between the works is manhood and patriarchy, where Harpo and Walter both have to deal with women in their life holding power thus questioning their manhood and role as head of …show more content…
He tends to make the women in the family feel like they are not supporting his dreams. For example, in Act I of the play Walter is trying to talk about opening a liquor store, but Ruth does not think it is a good idea so Walter responds with “A man needs for a woman to back him up” (Hansberry 1776). Walter implies that Ruth is not supporting him like she should as his wife. He also is not considering about whether not investing money, Mama’s insurance money, into this business venture would be the right decision for the family. Walter also tends to put down women when he feels like his choices are being turned down. For instance, when Walter says “We one group of men tied to a race of women with small minds” (Hansberry 1777). Walter thinks that Ruth and other women have a narrow outlook and do not understand. By making this comment, Walter seems to be trying to find a reason for why his idea is not supported by the women in his family so he attacks the opposite

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