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“A Raisin in the Sun” Play by Lorraine Hansberry

In the play “A Raisin in the Sun,” several important themes are explored. George Murchison strives towards assimilationism as a way of addressing consistent racial discrimination, while Beneatha sees assimilation as a manifestation of George’s fear of his heritage. Moreover, George sees heritage as “raggedy-assed spirituals and some grass huts!” while Beneartha shows her pride by wearing her natural hair. Hence, two ways of examining Africacentrism are presented – one that suggests gradual assimilation of African-Americans and one that focuses on preserving their cultural and historical heritage.

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Some of the key symbols in this play are pride, generational differences, and capitalism. Pride is displayed though character’s actions when they are asked to sell their new home, showing the dignity of these people. The difference in Mama’s and her children’s dreams – moving to a new house, getting an education, and investing in a liquor store shows the gap between generations. Capitalism is displayed though the financial difficulties and disparities of the Youngers. They are important because they reinforce the main theme of this work – the characters’ dreams and struggles.

Racial stereotypes play a role in this play because they affect the decisions of the main characters and the attitudes towards their choice to move to an all-white neighborhood. Mainly, the perception of African Americans as inferior, which affects the character’s view of their identities, appearance, and attitudes towards money. The prejudice towards the Youngers becomes evident when they are offered a large sum for their new house, which should stop them from moving into the white neighborhood.

The speech given by Walter shows the similarities and differences between him and college-educated George. Walter experiences difficulties and feels that fate denied him, and he cannot have success. As a result, George compares him to Prometheus as a way of mocking Walter’s belief in changing the world. Overall, “A Raisin in the Sun” explores a variety of themes connected to African-Americans’ race and identity.

References

Hansberry, L. (1959). A raisin in the sun: A drama in three acts. Random House.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, March 31). “A Raisin in the Sun” Play by Lorraine Hansberry. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/a-raisin-in-the-sun-play-by-lorraine-hansberry/

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StudyCorgi. "“A Raisin in the Sun” Play by Lorraine Hansberry." March 31, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/a-raisin-in-the-sun-play-by-lorraine-hansberry/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "“A Raisin in the Sun” Play by Lorraine Hansberry." March 31, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/a-raisin-in-the-sun-play-by-lorraine-hansberry/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) '“A Raisin in the Sun” Play by Lorraine Hansberry'. 31 March.

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