Representation of the Future Life Progression in the Novels A Raisin in the Sun and New Year
The Future is Coming
Picture the world in ten, twenty, thirty, or maybe even forty years and compare that to the present. Cultures, styles, and beliefs will change in the future. The world cannot stay the same for decades, it must move ahead; but the old beliefs are never forgotten. For example, to the family in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, they are still following their own beliefs from the past and are adding new ones as the future comes. On the other side, the family or the clan from New Year by Gail Harada are still celebrating the New Year’s holiday with their old and new traditions. While the play talks about old and new beliefs; and the poem talks about old and new traditions, both are conveying the same message that the world will move on and new ideas will come, but the past and its ideas will remain unforgotten!
In New Year by Gail Harada, “This is the old way, the whole clan gathered, the rice steaming over the charcoal…” (Lines 1-3), the quote flashed back to the old tradition of celebrating New Year’s Day. The tradition the poem shows is that their clan is gathering together to celebrate and enjoy themselves. In Asian culture, it is traditional for families and friends to gather up and celebrate. In another part of the poem, “This is the old way, setting off firecrackers to drive away evil spirits, leaving the driveways red for good fortune…” (Lines 20-22), the quote tells the reader that newer ideas are being mixed with older ones. Parts of the quote are showing old ideas, but the newer ideas are also being told. Another quote from the poem, “The new year arrives, deaf, smelling of gunpowder.” (Lines 23-24), the quote tells us that the new ideas the old generations might not understand are being more known to people in the future. The activities told here are new ideas and the author is introducing them to the readers. The clan did remind readers that the world is moving on and new beliefs are being created, but the world will never forget the past and its beliefs.
The family in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry also reminded readers that there are new ideas, but the old ones still exist. In the play, an example would be that the mother is having a difficult time understanding her son, Walter Lee Younger because they both have different goals with the money that their family had. This quote said by Walter, “Yeah You see, this little liquor store we got in mind cost seventy-five thousand…There’s a couple of hundred you got to pay sob’s you don’t spend your life just waiting for them clowns to let your license get approved.” (p. 15) proves that he wants to spend the money on investing in a liquor store. This quote said by Mama, “You mean that liquor store? We isn’t no business people…We even picked out the house” (p.24) shows the reader that Mama strongly disagrees with Walter’s idea of using the money to invest in a liquor store. Mama would rather spend that money on a new and better house for the family to live in. Walter has a new idea that Mama’s family had never thought of in the past. Mama wants her son to understand her past beliefs. Later in the play, Walter then realizes that his mother is right and he did not invest in a liquor store. This is similar to the clan in the play because the clan realized their old traditions and they decided to celebrate New Year’s Day in that style. It conveys the message that old ideas are still present because when Mama is still alive, she can show her and teach her family her old beliefs and ideas. Another quote from the play in Act III indicated by Mama, “…Isn’t nobody in my family never let nobody pay’em no money…” shows the reader that Mama’s old belief is to never take money from people. She then taught Walter that idea so that he can follow it. Walter wanted to take the money before his mother taught him her old belief and wants Walter to understand it. At the end, Mr. Lindner offered money to buy the house from Walter, he refuses to take the money because his mother taught him to never take money. Since the family did not take the offered money, they went into financial issues and had make a lot of sacrifices. The family’s new idea is to sacrifice because the older generation of the family did not have to suffer. This is similar to the poem when new and old are mixing. The new idea is to sacrifice and suffer in order to follow the old idea which is to not take payment from anyone. Finally, this quote said by Walter, “…we come from people who had a lot of pride. I mean—we are very proud people. And that’s my sister over there and she’s going to be a doctor —and we are very proud“ shows the reader that Walter’s family is united and together because they are proud people filled with pride. This is like the clan that is when they are getting together and celebrating a holiday. It is the point that the family in the play is not only together and united, but they are also following their old beliefs as well.
In the end, both families from different stories convey the idea that the new is coming, but the old is not dead. Both families are different, but they show the same concept. Both families have learned to be prepared for the future and the new beliefs. It is important to know that the past will never disappear because it creates history. History will always allow us to not only remember the past and its culture, but to also learn and embellish the past. As the world progresses to the future, new ideas will come while the old ones are creating history and the future generations can learn and treasure about the old ideas. The world will never be stuck on a specific generation and the ideas will be the same, new ideas will always be created, but it does not mean that the old ones are permanently gone.
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