How Society And The Mind Of A Black Man Essay

How Society And The Mind Of A Black Man Essay

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On pages 141-144, in A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry shows how society and the mind of a black man is heavily affected by the structures put in place hundreds of years before he was even born. The structure of the matriarchal family in the African American community derived from slavery. This structure affects Walter Lee Younger Jr. Walter Lee’s mother, referred to as Mama in the play, is now the head of the family after her late husband, Walter Younger Sr., dies. The original structure was more of a patriarchal family, but the immaturity, and several times being chewed up by the world and spit out, Walter Lee’s mother has taking the task of leading the family. However, her dominance and roll in the family weakens her son, making him internally feel less than a man.
In the beginning of the passage Walter say to his mother, “The Man. Like the guys in the streets say –The Man. Cap toss –Mistuh Carley … Old Cap’n Please Mr. Bossman …” (Hansberry 3.1.141) Walter refers to Mr. Linder as The Man. The Man usually stand for white Supremacy. He further insinuate this with the words the name of Mistuh and Mr. Bossman, referring to an authoritative figure, which is Mr. Linder, because in society Mr. Linder is superior and Walter is not. He then proceeds in a sarcastic tone, this act of desperation he is putting forth. He tells his mother, “Don 't cry, Mama. Understand. That white man is going to walk in that door able to write checks for more money than we ever had. It 's important to him and I 'm going to help him . . . I 'm going to put on the show, Mama.”(Hansberry 3.1.143) Walter highlight the ability of the white man being able to solve their problem by writing a check. Some sort of white savior for the Youngers. Walter then goes on to...


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... the effects of institutionalized systems of race inferiority on the development of black masculinity. Both texts analyze societal problems that lead to the hindrance of these male characters, Paul D and Walter Lee, from succumbing to the predetermined way the world has set up for them to go. For Paul D, slavery affects his psyche as a man, from being property of other men, to being raped by a man and by a woman. Walter is portrayed such as a man child in a world, where he opens and close doors for other people. He breaks under the pressure of the world, because he cannot perform the duties that a man should, like providing for his family and giving them the best things. The society in which Paul D and Walter grows up in is structured for the progress of white men, however through the obstacles black men have to face, it shows that they come up short in the end.




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