26 November 2012
The significance of Lena Younger in the screenplay and movie A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, directed by Kenny Leon In the movie A Raisin in the Sun derived from the screenplay by Lorraine Hansberry, the character of Lena Younger is effectively portrayed to show the importance of the plant as a symbol of Lena being in possession of a garden to call her own. However, the theme of dreams, especially Lena’s, is not made prominent enough to show Lena as a symbol of African American’s in the 50’s owning a house and moving up in society.
In the screenplay of A Raisin in the Sun, Lena Younger is a sensitive mother and grandmother to the Younger household. She is very religious, and demands of her kids to thank God for their lives. This is shown when Lena slaps Beneatha for challenging the idea of God in her life. Lena says, “Now you say after me, in my mothers house there is still God” (Hansberry 39). This scene is effectively remade in the movie. The actress that plays Lena makes her anger and shock in Beneatha’s comment very believable, which further emphasizes the fact that Lena’s values are portrayed just as effectively in the movie as they were in the written screenplay. Lena also stands up for herself, much like her daughter Beneatha. This is shown in the scene where Lena goes to the market to buy some apples that are in very bad condition. Lena says, “Got the nerve to be askin’ people thirty-five cents for them apples look like they was on the scene when Moses crossed over... Wouldn’t be tryin’ to sell ’em over yonder where I work” (Hansberry 54). In this scene of the screenplay, Lena’s character seemed very headstrong. In the movie however, this quote was not included. Instead Lena told the clerk, in a sarcastic tone, “Am I being charged for the worms too?” (A Raisin in the Sun), which means that the quality of the apples was not good. Although the scene was different, the point Hansberry was trying to make came across...
Cited: Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. Toronto: Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 1994. Print.
A Raisin in the Sun. Dir. by Kenny Leon. Perf. Sean Combs and Phylicia Rashad. Sony Pictures, 2008. DVD.
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