Assimilation (References to a Raisin in the Sun)

Topics: Immigration to the United States, Illegal immigration, Alien Pages: 2 (664 words) Published: August 15, 2013
Most countries in a primary economy level are stuck in poverty. Citizens seek economic freedom and success. Third world citizens hear of this magical land called America where the food is good and the women are even better. The idea of assimilation lurks in the minds of these citizens and since more immigrants assimilated in the 1950’s a civil rights movement was sparked. The push for equality led to an idea of an idyllic society in the minds of third world citizens. These third world citizens want to become “Americanized” but is the reality assimilation what these foreigners expected? Immigrants come to America with little experience hoping to find success, when actually they are put in the lower ranks of society and are suppressed by a racial barrier.

In a novel by Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun highlights the impact assimilation has on Beneatha. As Asagai visits he gives Beneatha some African robes that she tries on. He then compliments her yet insults her hairstyle by saying “Asagai: ... You wear it well... very well... mutilated hair and all. (Hansberry 513)” Asagai insults Beneatha on her American values. In the 1950’s a pop culture trend was for girls to straighten their hair.

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Beneatha conforms to this pop culture trend and takes part of assimilation yet this is conflicting her previous actions of wanting to get to her African roots (Hansberry). As the Youngers live in poverty hoping to get by on their insurance check for their fathers death, today’s immigrants tend to do be in the same position. Todays assimilationists find it harder to fit into an American society because they lack basic knowledge. These immigrants may not know high school courses or maybe even English. "For immigrants of color, assimilation means something very different than it historically has for European immigrants... the most "assimilated" people of color, have been consistently kept at the bottom (Chomsky).” Also, Assimilation becomes more and more...
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