A Raisin in the Sun Character Analysis Throughout the Play and Plot

Essay details

Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

Download PDF

In this essay I am intend to research Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” character analysis the play, issued in 1959 which is considered to be the best one among the others and where were shown the relations between two types of citizens of America: African Americans and white people, who prevented the normal functioning of the Negro population living in the ghetto. In the play, the black family of five, experiences lifestyle in Chicago in its southern part. They attempt to improve their financial circumstances, when they face unfair treatment of the black people. In this play Hansberry concisely shows these relations tied with racial identity of black African -Americans and their opponents who did not want them to live in the neighborhood of whites. In this essay I intend to describe all the reality and prove that by the evidence from the text of the play by citations which must prove my thesis statement.

Essay due? We'll write it for you!

Any subject

Min. 3-hour delivery

Pay if satisfied

Get your price

In Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun the Younger family of five leaves in a tiny dark infested apartment on Chicago’s South Side sometime between 1945 and the present o 1959. The whole family eagerly awaits a ten thousand dollar life insurance check for the work related death of big Walter, Mama’s husband and the family’s patriarch. Walter Lee a Younger dissatisfied chauffeur in his mid-thirties wants to invest to a liquor store. In the introduction he mentions news of another bombing and he talks finances with his wife Ruth. Ruth and Beneatha Walter’s younger sister both recognize momma as the one in charge of the insurance money as the raising action begins. Walter tries to convince her to finance his investment but Mamma’s against selling liquor. She wants to support Beneatha’s plan to attend medical school; she’s also thinking about buying a house. “MAMA: The houses they put up for colored in them areas way out all seem to cost twice as much as other houses. I did the best I could.”The family encourages Beneatha to pursue her wealthy suitor George Murchison, but Beneatha finds him shallow. Another suitor Nigerian classmate Joseph the guy helps Beneatha to explore her African Heritage. The check arrives and Ruth reveals she’s pregnant with an unplanned child. To momma’s dismay Ruth has scheduled an abortion. In the climax mama uses part of the settlement money to make a down payment on a house. Ruth is at first overjoyed but then shocked to learn the houses in Clyburn Park a white neighborhood. Mrs. Johnson the neighbor stops by excited for the Youngers move but also scared of the violence they will likely face from Chicago’s white folks. Walter begins to drink alcohol and always drunk. When mama sees his deterioration she gives him control over the remainder of the money. She tells him to put some aside for Beneatha’s education and to decide himself what to do with the rest. We see an immediate change in Walter, and Ruth decides to keep her baby.

 While the Youngers excitedly pack Carl Lindner visits, a white representative of the Clyburn Park welcoming committee in the falling action; and uncomfortable but polite Lindner says he wants to start a dialogue. But it is soon clear the neighborhood residents want to buy back the house to prevent integration. Walter, Ruth and Beneatha angrily reject the offer and ask Lindner to leave. Soon after Walters’s fellow investor Bobo reports that Willy Harris has skipped town with their investment money. Walter as well as Beneatha share enraged. Mama begins to beat Walter. The family is now in need of cash. Consider staying in the apartment and upbeat hopeful. Assegai debates the possibility of progress with Beneatha. Assegai asks her to move with him to Africa to work with him to help to improve the lives of his people at its lowest. Walter calls Carl Lindner to accept the buyout. Beneatha’s ready to disown her brother but mama insists Walter needs their love now more than ever. In the resolution Walter instead tells Lindner they plan to move into the house after all the movers’ sett the track. Beneatha says she’s thinking about going to Africa. Mama tells Ruth that Walters finely come into his manhood. With hopes well as dark uncertainty about integration the play closes with the Youngers vacating their apartment and going to their new house.

Walter: In his mid-30s Walter Lee dissatisfied working as a chauffeur for a rich white man. He wants to be treated as the man in charge of the family and he plans to use mother’s insurance money to invest in liquor. The play is driven in part by the gendered conflict between Walters ambition and mamas role as matriarch. Walter Lee is a lean intense young man inclined to quick nervous movement and erratic speech habits. His character embodies the neurotic effects of Langston Hughes’s dream deferred. Walter doesn’t dry up like a rising in the Sun but he threatens to explode. His character shows the most significant change coming into manhood at the end of the play.

Mama: In her 60’s mama is a beautiful strong matriarch of the younger family. Mama was widowed before the action of the play takes place but big Walter and his legacy are present throughout the play. The whole family waits for the ten thousand dollar life insurance check to arrive in the mail. Ruth and Beneatha recognized mama as the one in charge of the money and the family. Mama’s role as matriarch conflicts with Walter Lee’s expectation of being the man of the house. “MAMA Now—you say after me, in my mother’s house there is still God. (There is a long pause and BENEATHA stares at the floor wordlessly. MAMA repeats the phrase with precision and cool emotion) In my mother’s house there is still God”. Mama and her husband fled the racialized violence of the south. She says of their migration we were worried about not being lynched and just tried getting to the north if we could and how to stay alive and still have a pinch of dignity, too. Despite the hardship she is experienced mama remains an optimist and buys a house to get her family out of their rat trap apartment.

Beneatha, Walter’s younger sister represents a new modern generation of African -American smart and interested in their racial heritage. “BENEATHA Get over it? What are you talking about, Ruth? Listen, I’m going to be a doctor. I’m not worried about who I’m going to marry yet—if I ever get married”. She wants to go to medical school to help people. A goal that differentiates here is from her brother’s plan to open a liquor store. Beneatha’s two suitors George Murchison and Josef Assegai highlight two very separate views of African – American identity at the end of the play. Her, though, of marrying Joseph and moving to Africa effectively get rid of the assimilationist George, crystallizing her character positive sense of African heritage.

Ruth is described as being as weary as the apartment she has. She is not old but she sags under the weight of a dreary life. Ruth works as a cleaning woman for a white family and also does much of the younger family’s housework. She has great respect for mama younger but also keenly feels Walter’s need to be in charge though defeated and exhausted at the play’s beginning as the play progress. Ruth reveals her hopes for better circumstances and a closer relationship with Walter fearful about having a second child in their economic situation she puts a down payment on an abortion her decision to keep her baby adds a positive narrative arc the play.

Travis is Walter and Ruth’s son a sturdy, handsome boy with no space of his own in the family apartment he sleeps on the old couch. He shows a desire to earn his own money and prove his responsibility by carrying groceries after school. Travis represents the sixth generation of Youngers and hope for the future.

The insurance money represents the dream of economic stability and legacy of big Walters’ life of hard work. Mama tries to get out of the ghetto and create a legacy for Travis. Walter puts this legacy into peril destroying the stability afforded by check. There is dark turn of his to the legacy of the younger man. At the end of the play we see a question of the viability of Mama’s investment. The symbols of Sunlight and Mama’s plant are also an important part of the paly. In the beginning of the play is the fight for light in the younger living room, stressing from the outset a basic lack of what all organisms need to grow and thrive. Hansberry specifies that the younger apartment has a single little window through which light comes feebly. But mama symbolizes the Strength and the Attention. As for Beneatha, she is a symbol of resistance and independence. Beneatha prides she is a black woman. The dream in the play symbolized by the house is made precarious by the play’s backdrop a racialized violence and we are left to wonder whether the younger will build a legacy of homeownership to pass along to Travis. There are several themes specific to African American experience: Race Relations, Segregation. The segregated housing practices that confined African Americans to Chicago’s black ghetto on the South side the black belt. The home of younger enclosed claustrophobic space keeps the specific reality of Chicago’s black belt at the fore front of the play. There is shown prohibition of sale or lease of property to specific groups of people usually African-American, Catholics and Jews. Restricted covenants created Chicago’s black belt and Hansberry’s psychological health to integration and escape from the poverty of the ghetto. The play references racial violence enough to make us apprehensive about the younger plans to make out of the black belt into a working class of white neighborhood.

In his play, Hansberry Lorraine reveals that a real black family is fighting for their rights. They want to break away from poverty and succeed in life as well as whites. But they know that their chances are not great, but in the end, the persistent desire to succeed will be in their favor. But this is not happening yet. They had a chance to redefine the American dream, which by all means is stacked against them. They had a chance to achieve success and they have courage, too, which is manifested by Walter in the Last Scenes of the Play in his actions. Since the older generations of blacks were fighting against discrimination, their opposition to the laws of society is now of new generation’s duty, which is to be fulfilled so that they can live in peace with whites; it requires a strong character, pride. That is why protesting the unfair system is so important in the play of 1959’s and new and new generations will hold it by ages to come.

Get quality help now

Prof Essil

Verified writer

Proficient in: A Raisin in The Sun

4.8 (1570 reviews)
“Really responsive and extremely fast delivery! I have already hired her twice!”

+75 relevant experts are online

banner clock
Clock is ticking and inspiration doesn't come?
We`ll do boring work for you. No plagiarism guarantee. Deadline from 3 hours.

We use cookies to offer you the best experience. By continuing, we’ll assume you agree with our Cookies policy.