Power and Control in A Raisin In The Sun and Juno and the Paycock
In the two plays, A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey, the reader is presented with a definite struggle for power among its main characters and society's ideals. These plays also serve as functions of drama, where the reader or viewer can also perceive much more in the way they are portrayed by the actors and the director as well, as the overall thematic plot and significance.
In A Raisin In The Sun, the reader is faced with the struggle between Walter and his wife, Ruth, and his mother, Mama, for power and head of the household. In the first Act of the play Walter deliberately oversteps Ruth's authority just to spite her and show his power as head of the family. Travis, their son requests fifty cents for school, and Ruth denies his request because they don't have the money. Walter enters and gives his son more than enough money with his eyes completely transfixed on his wife, who looks at him with utmost scorn and disapproval:
Travis-she won't gimme the fifty cents...
Walter-(To his wife only) Why not?
Ruth-(Simply, and with flavor) 'Cause we don't have it.
Walter-(To Ruth only) What you tell the boy things like that for? (Reaching down into his pants with a rather important gesture) Here son-(He hands the boy the coin, but his eyes are directed to his wife's. Travis takes the money happily)
Travis-Thanks, Daddy. (He starts out. Ruth watches both of them with murder in her eyes. Walter stands and stares back at her with defiance...(Hansberry 30-31)
It is obvious that this scene was meant to be performed, with all its subtle actions and expressed grievances. Here one confrontation of...
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...ter to the house he retreats back to his former attempts of deception by lying to her about supposed jobs and leg pains. Like in Raisin, Jack falls into a fortune which he squanders away and then later realizes he never possessed, getting into a great debt. He uses the money however to make himself head of the family, or man of the house, which ultimately falls apart. At the end of the play though, unlike Raisin, he never acquires any real authority as the play ends in disarray, and he goes off to drown his sorrows at the local saloon.
These two plays show dramatically the struggle for authoritative power over the characters lives, families, and societies pressures. The overall tragedy that befalls them as they are swept up in these conflicts distinctly portrays the thematic plot of their common misconception for power and control over their lives.