The theme of racism in a raisin in the sun

One of the first major allusions to any sort of racism appears with the character of George Murchison. Prior to his entrance, the play simply discusses a poor family.

The theme of racism in a raisin in the sun

These unfulfilled dreams are at the center of the play and are the source of the varied problems in the play. The manner in which Hansberry presents these problems and the skill with which she weaves them into the basic theme of the work attest the artistry of the playwright.

A Raisin in the Sun is rife with conflicts: By placing three generations in the same cramped quarters, Hansberry focuses dramatically on some of the essential differences between age and youth.

She and her husband, Big Walter, had struggled to make life better for the children. Beneatha and Walter Lee, on the other hand, are more selfish in their concerns.

Beneatha squanders money on frivolous pursuits and devotes her attention to her personal relationships, while Walter is oblivious to the needs of everyone else, with the possible exception of his son, in his obsession with the dream of becoming a businessman.

Travis, in typical childlike fashion, manipulates all the adults in the play in order to achieve his own ends. Ideological conflicts also abound, feeding into the major theme of the novel.

Beneatha, having been newly exposed to some radical ideas in the university setting, has abandoned the God-centered Christian faith of her mother and has embraced atheism, or at least secular humanism. We aint never been that poor.

Murchison offers Beneatha a life of opulence and comfort, while Asagai offers her a life steeped in ancestral tradition but devoid of creature comforts. Hansberry does not attempt to resolve this conflict, choosing rather to leave Beneatha undecided at the end of the play, suggesting the difficulty of such a choice.

The Beneatha-Asagai relationship also introduces into the drama the theme of pan-Africanism, a theme prevalent in African American drama of this period. Through the romantic involvement of these two, Hansberry manages to link the African struggle for independence with the African American struggle for self-identity and self-determination.

Rural Revolution: Making a liar of me

Furthermore, in her portrayal of Beneatha as a fiercely independent, self-assured woman, determined to succeed in the medical profession, Hansberry introduces the theme of feminism, a novel one at this time not only in African American literature but also in American literature in general.

Even Walter Lee expresses the typical male-chauvinist point of view as he taunts Beneatha about her ambitions: Each in her own way reflects some aspect of feminism.

The theme of racism in a raisin in the sun

Lena Younger Mama is the epitome of the self-reliant woman, having worked side by side with her husband to provide for the family and continuing to be its stabilizing force.

Ruth, on the other hand, seems to hold fairly traditional ideas about motherhood, but she finds herself, without the counsel of her husband, considering abortion as an alternative to bringing another child into the world.

Although the abortion theme is merely touched on in this play, the way is opened for other writers to treat it more thoroughly in future plays. In A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry raises many issues of race, gender, family values, religion, and ethics.

A Raisin in the Sun Topic Tracking: Racism

The play poses many more problems than it resolves or even attempts to resolve; therein lies the complexity and the realism of the drama.It doesn't matter that this stuff is missing insignificant things like a plot, logic or even entertainment value, someone's buying these things, because the comic book industry just keeps on making them.

Both Langston Hughes’ "Harlem (A Dream Deferred)" and Lorraine Hansberry’s "A Raisin in the Sun" focus on the effect of racism on African-Americans.

A Raisin in the Sun depicts ordinary Americans who happen to be black – and explores how the fact of their race inhibits them from accomplishing their dreams. In other words, A Raisin in the Sun demonstrates how race can complicate the American Dream.

For the most part, however, race is a latent backdrop in the play; this enables Hansberry to craft a universally appealing tale and allows us to . Hansberry offers an example of institutionalized racism through Lena's search for housing in Chicago.

At a Glance

Racist laws made leaving the slums much more difficult for . The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Race, Discrimination, and Assimilation appears in each scene of A Raisin in the Sun. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis.

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A Raisin in the Sun Theme of Race