Beneatha's Search for Identity

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In the passage, "Beneatha's Search for Identity" by Brenda F. Berrian, the author describes her views on intercultural marriages as it was seen in the play, a Raisin in the Sun. The author views African American assimilation into American culture as the social norm. The theme of intercultural marriages, between an Afro-American woman and a Nigerian man, are seen as a "testimony of self-affirmation, and new freedoms." In the passage, Berrian identifies that Beneatha struggles to break away from the social norm and uncover a new passage to freedom. However enthused Beneatha may be to discover her former African heritage, she knows little about her African heritage. Her only images of Africa are those of preconceived notions. Joseph Asagi is a male, Nigerian student in the play, a Raisin in the Sun, whom brings ideas to beneath about her search for identity in an African American Society. The author of the passage describes Joseph as giving Beneatha "a promise of life in Nigeria". Asagi fulfills those needs of Beneatha in her search to uncover her great African heritage. He views western standards as limiting "the black man's fate" America. However desperate Beneatha is to explore new opportunity and uncover her heritage; her concept of African culture is merely based upon illusions and ideas which are blown out of proportion.

George Murchison is Beneatha's college boy friend, a well off, traditional African American student. George has adapted to the diversity of traditional American culture, and he sees that Beneatha is acting outrageous by wanting to find her ethnic roots. He falls short of noticing that Beneatha's philosophical and psychological needs which should be encouraged and expressed. Although George represents security and stability, he finds nothing in Beneatha's "eccentric" desires. He expresses to Beneatha that "Africa may reflect her heritage," but not his.

Berrian describes in his passage that Beneatha is an African American facing difficulty...
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