Women in a Raisin in the Sun

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The Female Role in A Raisin In the Sun
Joe b.
Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun is the story of a struggling black family in Chicago. This story embodies Hansberry's use of strong black women, she was a realistic artist, fascinated by ordinary and real people with each one clearly and vividly drawn. In this play, Hansberry portrays courageous and revolutionary women who share struggles with each other and also with their men. Hansberry speaks loudly about the role women have played in the struggle for freedom. In A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry shows three major female characters in very different stages in their lives. Lena wants to save her family from dissolution by resolving conflicts, remaining righteous and being the rock and the leader of the Youngers. Beneatha wants to both develop her intellect by attending school and be of service to humanity by practicing medicine; Ruth, on the other hand, wants Travis to grow up in a decent home in a decent neighborhood. However, they all share a common goal for their family. Although different from each other, the women remain unified at the end of the play when the whole family decides to move into a new house, significant because they would rather face the dangerous risk of moving into a racist neighborhood than stay in their poor situation.

Mama portrays the traditional, holy, black woman during the period of the civil rights movement, much like that of the time she is the backbone in their house and supports the family through their many trials and tribulations. Throughout the play Walter, Lena Younger’s son, is undoubtedly a catalyst in the troubles the family faces. He seems helpless and feels he is less than a man because his family is poor and he has so many aspirations. During the play he lobbies for the support of the family to give him the money to invest in a liquor store, and finally in a critical scene, even though she has her doubts, Mama hands over part of the ten thousand...
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