Comparing Soul Food and A Raisin in the Sun
Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” and George Tillman’s box-office hit Soul Food explore the hardships and trials of black family life, and through the characters, setting, and theme of both the story and the film, the issue of class and the search for community is discussed.
The theme indicated in these stories is the search for community. Mama Younger wanted her family to come closer. The more she tried, the farther apart they became. During her struggle, she encountered many obstacles including her own son’s beliefs, but she did not let them curve her appetite to gain higher status in society. Similarly, in Soul Food, Mama Joe struggled with keeping her family together, due to their different ideas and beliefs. Her daughters’ arguing continued even after her death, but with the help of her grandson Ahmad, the Joseph family remained as one piece. The family is the first and most important community in everyone’s lives. Maintaining family unity is the primary theme featured in these stories.
The characteristics of the main characters found in Soul Food are also found in the characters in “A Raisin in the Sun.” The matriarchs of both families are similar in many aspects. The overall description of Mama Younger as ” a woman in her early sixties, full bodied and strong…wit and faith of a kind that keeps her eyes lit and full of interest and expectancy” describes the character of Mother Joe, played by Irma P. Hall in Soul Food. Both characters have lost their husbands and are trying to maintain a stable family life. Beneatha, the youngest daughter of Mama Younger resembles Bird, the youngest daughter of Mother Joe, played by Nia Long. Their narrow view …
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…Joe loses her husband, who has left a large amount of money somewhere in the house, to use for the family’s needs. Her oldest and greediest daughter, Teri, wants to sell the family house, which is an heirloom to the Joseph line. After Mama Joe dies of diabetes, the rest of the family decides to restore the old house in honor of their mother and grandmother. Similarities in plot connect these stories and allow the reader to define the overall theme of both literary works.
The relationship between “A Raisin in the Sun” and Soul Food is closely knit. The authors used many of the same attributes to create great characters, descriptive settings, and in depth themes, such as personal experiences and portrayals of real life people. Both works have qualities that make each of them unique in its own way, but their similarities define the issues of topic excellently.