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Hypermasculinity In A Raisin In The Sun

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In the play A Raisin in the Sun, written by Loraine Hansberry, there is a lower class family that experiences what life is like during 1959. In the play, the family of five all have many adversities but one of the main characters known as Walter Youngers, seems to be the most affected during this period of time due to the fact that he is a male, and has a bigger role to fill in his family. Like everybody, Walter has big dreams to pursue. As he tries to achieve them with money from his father’s death, there is many disputes in between the family that blinds them from realizing that money does not buy happiness.
The roles of men have not changed very much from 1930’s, 1950’s to now. Men have always been expected to do many things for the
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Joseph Pleck wrote in Attitudes toward male roles among adolescent males, “Males hold more traditional beliefs about masculinity than females…” (p482) which might mean more pressure is added to males to exceed those standards society has created. Hypermasculinity and hypomasculinity differ from each other a bit where as hypermasculinity is the exaggeration of male stereotypical (ex: sociopath and selfishness) and hypomasculinity is the absence of male stereotypical behavior (Ex: unreliability and irresponsibility). These examples describe Walter very well. In his hypermasulinity he was selfish. He was so determined to pursue his dream that he wanted only his dream to be accomplished and nobody else’s. Walter tells Beneatha “Who the hell told you you had to be a doctor? If you so interested in messin’ with sick people how about you become a nurse?” (Hansberry497) which lets the audience know that Walter doesn’t really support his sister in achieving her goals. Also in Act II Scene I, Walter questions his mother about where she has been all day worried that she has gone and spent the money that could have been used for his liquor store. With his mother disapproving of his business she decides that she is going to invest the money in a house instead. Buying a house will not only benefit her but will benefit the whole family as well. When Walter hears the news he does…show more content…
Although that’s what men are supposed to do, Walter didn’t do his job too well. In the middle of the play we find out that Ruth is pregnant. When Ruth tries to tell Walter however he does not want to listen to her because he is too upset about his liquor store dream not coming true. Walter does not act like a man when his mother tells his no on the liquor store. He decides to leave and scream and show everybody he is upset he did not get what he wanted. His mother tells Walter, “Son, do you know your wife is expecting another baby?” to settle him down and also so he can talk to Ruth civil. His mother bought a house and is going to be able to fit the upcoming family member in their home without having to struggle how they are going to live their lifestyle for the rest of their life. Walter however, is still thinking about his liquor store when he should have the same mentality as his mother. A new home, means new beginnings for them but he does not see it that way. With Walter having Travis looking up to him, he is not setting a good example. After Walter gets robbed, not only did he put himself in a bad situation but he also put his family there too. He decides he is going to make
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