The play “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry tells the story of a black family living on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s. The title comes from the poem by Langston Hughes, “Harlem (A Dream Deferred)”. The story is all about a lower-class African-American family who trying to gain better lifestyle with an insurance payout because of the death of the father.
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The play begins, the younger family are about to receive $10,000 check, that comes from Mr. Younger’s life insurance policy. Every one of the family members has a different idea about what they want to do with the money they received from the insurance. Mama, who is the head of the family needs to buy a house to fulfill her dream that moving her family a house with a yard where children can play. Walter Lee. Mama’s son, need the money for the investment of a liquor store to resolve the financial problems of the family. Beneatha, Mama’s daughter, need the money for the tuition of her medical school, who is more educated than others. The young family members choices and dreams indicate their perspective towards pride, family, and money.In “A Raisin in the Sun” pride widely reflect throughout the play and it represented in an extremely positive light in. Pride is a way for them to keep their dignity. Mama tries to be inspired in her children a sense of respect for their ancestors, who were Southern slaves and sharecroppers and expresses pride in her family’s background. “In my time we was worried about not being lynched and getting to the North if we could and how to stay alive and still have a pinch of dignity too…
Now here come you and Beneatha talking about things we aren’t never even thought about hardly, me and your daddy. You aren’t satisfied or proud of nothing we done.” (p. 1534). Mama need to teach her son to proud for his ancestors. When a neighborhood representative offers to buy back their new home because they are black, the family reject the offer because they prefer to keep their pride rather than money. Early in the play, Younger family give priority for money, but in the end, they realize how important pride is to achieve their dreams. The author uses the African American Younger family as a representation of the entire race’s struggle for the American Dream. This play shows how race can complicate the black-American dreams and how their race delays them from accomplishing their dreams. The family worries about Mama’s decision to move Clybourne, the location of their new home. They have hesitations about moving to an all-white neighborhood, they know the separation between the two races. Mama tells Walter Lee of the differences in racism from her generation to the present day. She was worried about racism still appears and she notices that her children have lost the benefits of the new society.
Money creates a constant conflict in the Younger household because the members of the family view money in different ways. They all live in a small apartment in Chicago’s Southside, because of the Younger family’s poor status and lack of money. It indicates how the black community economically suffers and have the struggle to live a better life like whites. Karl Lindner, the white representative thinks that money can buy their pride. He offers the Youngers to buy the house for them to stay away from Clybourne Park. Mama explains to Walter that her family and her race cannot be bought with any amount of money. It shows pride and honor is more important than money. Mama thinks that money destroys happiness, family connection because people tend to fight over it that is why she only plans to keep the money to solve the problems of her family.
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