A View of Prejudice as Described in Lorraine Hansberry’s Play, A Raisin In The Sun
A Raisin in the Sun
A raisin in the sun is a play about an African American family that is going to receive an inheritance because of a death in the family. In this play their is sexism, racism, and many other cultural differences that we might not have been able to see if we were not in the minority until this play.
The African American family in this play is the Younger family there are five youngers living in one small apartment. I think the most important family member is Mama, she is the glue to the whole family and keeps everyone in line. Then there’s Walter lee Younger which is mamas son he works as a chauffeur and thinks he is head of the household. Walters wifes name is Ruth she usually minds her own business more than the rest of the family. Mama’s daughters name is Beneatha younger she is an aspiring doctor and she knows she can do it even with her being an African American woman. Then there’s the youngest which you do not really hear a lot about he is walter and ruth’s son his name is travis all he wants to do is have a real house.
A Raisin in the Sun is a play about the Younger family and it is based in the 1950s while racism and sexism were still taken very serious by many. The Youngers are about to receive an insurance check for ten-thousand dollars which was a lot back in the 1950s. they are receiving this check because Mr. Younger mama’s husband died and left them money to take care of themselves because he worked until the day he died.
Everyone in the younger family want something different out of the inheritance money. Mama wants to buy a house where her family will not have to struggle anymore. Mamas son walter wants to buy a liquor store with his friends so he can give the family everything they need. Beneatha who wants to become a doctor wants the money to go towards her schooling so she can help people and prove everyone wrong. Ruth and Travis do not really want anything specific but, everyone to be happy.
Ruth finds out that she is pregnant with walters second child which they don’t have any room for and beenie says “where is he going to sleep the roof” and ruth gets sad and almost passes out. this shows that they are all under a lot of stress and ruth feels guilty for having another baby. While mama and beenie know about the baby walter doesn’t find out until later when beenies friend from africa comes over and they go in the room. Beneatha has a friend from africa bring her things from his homeland so she feels like she is finding her true self which is saying that she doesn’t know who she really is and she is supposed to be the one with the strong mind on her shoulders.
When the inheritance arrives walter is has a nervous breakdown and leaves the house for a week or so and mama goes looking for him. mama doesn’t like seeing her son sad so she eventually ends up giving walter half the money saying to put two thousand in a bank account for bennie his younger sisters schooling and to keep the rest for himself. the money that mama gave walter never gets put into a bank account and ends up getting stolen by his friend Willy Harris.Walter never gets to accomplish his dream of having a liquor store.
Meanwhile when walter was losing over half of the inheritance money mama is buying a house that will fit their needs, is in a good neighborhood, and is in her budget. The house that she picks isn’t in an African American neighborhood and so she gets a visit from the welcoming committee. A man named Mr. Karl Linder is the welcoming committee and at first the Youngers think he is a nice man and that he wants to help but, then they find out that he only wants to pay them off to not live in the white neighborhood. the white man says that he doesn’t want to ruin the block with how much the people who live their work for what they have by “certain kind of people moving in”. This causes the Youngers to become closer and move in to the new house.
Throughout the play their are times that i wondered why would or rather how could people be so set on ruining other peoples lives. I grew up with many different raced people around me throughout my life so i will never fully understand the thought process of racist people. The Youngers seem to be portrayed as hard working people and they want whats best for their family it doesn’t make a difference what color they are i would of still watched it the same with no judgement.
Racism in the housing industry has been peppered with racism even up into modern times. The racism that is in the housing industry today are not only Towards African Americans its hispanics, whites, and any race. White people can be put out of their house by hispanics that are in gangs and even by other white people throughout the united states. But, most of the racism is pointed toward hispanics and how everyone thinks if you are colored you need to be a gang member of if you dress a certain way you are a gang member. We see it everyday on the news how police officers are even racist and arrest people for no reason. No one knows it happens in the communities also. I have seen people get shot of badly hurt by people that are supposedly protecting their community, Everyone is a victim of some kind of racism in their life even when we are younger. I do not think that people should not feel safe in their own home because of neighborhood racism. In the CBS news Ilyce Glink says “Although we’ve come a long way from blatant, in-your-face housing injustice, racial discrimination still exists,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Just because it’s become less obvious doesn’t mean that it’s less harmful.” This statement is completely true many people die because of community racism.
Racism in A Raisin in the Sun is almost sickening to most people and i hope that more people see this play to help spread the word about how African American people were treated in the 1950s. Racism is still alive today through communities that want one color out of their neighborhood which is not right either. I hope people eventually learn how not to be racist.
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