Family Ties

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Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin In The Sun” and Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” are both stories that are connected by the common factor of family values. Although both stories have their own individual qualities it is the heritage and importance of family that brings both stories together. The similar personalities of Beneatha from “A Raisin In The Sun” and Dee from “Everyday Use” are a good example of how family values dominate the stories and the characters in them. Both Beneatha and Dee come from families rich in culture, history and traditions but strive to find individuality outside of their family’s norms. However, it is the way in which they approach conformity that is a testament to how one should and shouldn’t go about this process. Dee’s family consists of her mother and younger sister, Maggie. Mother and Maggie are well rooted in family tradition and they live on the premises of those values. Dee likes to be into the latest fashions and trends. She even changes her name to one that sounds more African and starts to date a man named Asalamalakim. However, it is apparent the moment she exits her car and steps foot onto Mama’s lawn that haughtiness has blinded her. Before even acknowledging her families presence Dee is quick to focus the attention on herself by asking her mother how she looks. Not only that, but the way in which she addresses her mother and snaps pictures of the house, as if her family is a subject of some sort of documentary, depicts her arrogance toward them as well. Beneatha on the other hand lives with her family and displays more respect toward them, despite her desire to break free from their grasp. Beneatha attends college and is studying to be a doctor. During the time of this story this was not something a lot of women were accustomed of doing. Her family doesn’t have a lot of money, and although they do get by, Mama Lena still manages to fund Beneatha’s new interests as she moves from one hobby to the next. Toward the end of the...
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