Gender Issues in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

1115 Words 5 Pages
In A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou, both Hansberry and Angelou use gender to show two different perspectives women brought forth in the 1920s through the 1950s. Hansberry displays in Ruth, a woman of good faith and loyalty to her family, and Beneatha represents Maya Angelou’s phenomenal woman, a woman of poise, class, and dreams. Hansberry and Angelou use characterization, dialogue, archetype, and juxtaposition to compare and contrast a woman’s changing role in society.
There are several generations of women that reside in the Younger apartment. Hansberry uses characterization to demonstrate each generation’s different perspective of themselves as a woman. Mama is a faithful wife, who
…show more content…
She knows herself.
During this time, men expected women to acquiesce to their demands; they should “just get married and be quiet,” says Walter Younger (Hansberry 960). Hansberry’s use of dialogue further emphasizes the narrow-minded view of men in the 1950s. Bennie and Walter’s fighting spurred from Walter's chauvinistic, bigoted outlook of Beneatha. Walter often criticizes Beneatha's medical school dreams. He constantly brings up the cost of her schooling. Walter centers his argument merely on Beneatha being a woman. He says, “[She] should not even want to become a doctor.” Walter's bitterness bursts when asking Bennie, “Who in the hell told you, you had to be a doctor? If you so crazy bout messing ‘round with sick people, then go be a nurse like other women”(Hansberry 960).
Hansberry also used dialogue to show how Beneatha's nonconformity toward Walter is of her insolence concerning all stereotypical thoughts anyone has toward African American culture or beliefs. She does not believe in any African American’s who “[are] willing to give up [on their] own culture…” (Hansberry 984). In that, Bennie never condones to any of Walter’s inconsiderate remarks. Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” is the epitome of Beneatha’s demeanor. Angelou claims, “It’s the fire in [her] eyes, / And the flash of [her] teeth (22-23)”. Bennie is so confrontational in the boundaries of standing up for herself. Ruth's counsel to Bennie is to “just be nice sometimes and not argue over every one of

Related Documents