Free College Essays - The Strength of the Characters in A Raisin in the Sun

Free College Essays - The Strength of the Characters in A Raisin in the Sun

Length: 1229 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Strength of the Characters in A Raisin in the Sun

In A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry paints an impressive group portrait of the Youngers, a family composed of powerful characters who are yet in many ways typical in their dreams and frustrations. There is Lena, or Mama, the widowed mother; her daughter Beneatha, a medical student; Beneatha's brother Walter, a struggling chauffeur; and Walter's wife, Ruth, and their young son. Crammed together in an airless apartment, the family dreams of better days.

The character Beneatha knows much about her African past. Mama is very proud of her African heritage and believing it's importance. During the stage directing of the play Lena has the "noble bearings of the women of the heroes of the Southwest Africa , but she totally ignores her African past and does not care much about it either" (Cheney 59). Asagai Beneatha's acquaintance talks allot about his African past and believes deeply in his culture and heritage. He is from Nigeria where there is a lot of poverty.

        A Raisin in the Sun is a quiet celebration of the black

        family the importance of African roots, the equality of

        women, the vulnerability of marriage, the true value of

        money, the survival of the individual and the nature of

        mans dreams (Cheney 55).

Africa is a great part of the play because it brings out good and humorous elements in the Younger family, such as Walter yelling out "Hot Damn!" "Flaming Spear!" as Beneatha walks out in her Nigerian robes (Cheney 60). Africa becomes a symbol of heritage and a troublesome but hopeful future (Cheney 56).

    With the help of Paul Robeson, W.E.B Dubois and Frederick Douglass she created the play A Raisin in the Sun. Paul Robeson was a famous baritone singer. He inspired her to write A Raisin in the Sun. She loved his voice and the songs he sang. Hansberry learned from him "...the way that most blacks lived, and the dangers of being an artist" (Cheney 45-46). W.E.B Dubois was an original thinker and a sociologist. Hansberry "...gained admiration for black intellectual, socialism, and black leadership" (Cheney 40). Frederick Douglass was a another writer. Hansberry learned about slavery and its psychology. She also learned a "...invaluable lesson that the sufferings of a people may be presented truthfully in ways that rise above propaganda to the level of art" (Cheney 36-37).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free College Essays - The Strength of the Characters in A Raisin in the Sun." 18 Nov 2018

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Free College Essays - Hardships in Ordinary People

- Ordinary People - Hardships The theme of Ordinary People can be said best in the words of Honi Werner, " Some things cannot be foreseen or understood or blamed on anyone- they can just be endured. Love, openly shared, is the only thing one can count on to give them strength for that endurance.”  Ordinary People gives a wonderful example of real life and addresses many internal conflicts. This story about a boy's recovery after his brother's death is extremely engrossing and captivating....   [tags: Ordinary People]

Free Essays
1966 words (5.6 pages)

Strength Training is Necessary for the Serious Athlete Essays

- Is your child dreaming of being a college athlete, a professional athlete, or an Olympian. Are you considering getting an extra edge over other athletes your child’s age. Is bigger, faster, and stronger better. The young athletes looking to move up to the next level are interested in improving speed, agility, and strength. Our youth are becoming increasingly involved in a more advanced level of competition with the hopes of obtaining their dreams of being the best at their chosen sport. It takes discipline to complete endurance and agility building exercises; thus you create a more disciplined athlete....   [tags: Strength Training]

Research Papers
3410 words (9.7 pages)

The Effects Of Strength Training On Muscle Strength Essay

- ... The natural maximum limit of testosterone present in the female body is still lower than the lowest amount a natural male will have at any given point in his life (Severson). Therefore, women can train exactly as a man would and never have the same amount of increases in strength, size, and performance, disproving that they will become “bulky and manly”. Another demographic targeted as a group that should not strength train is children. Many parents refrain their children from lifting weights as they do not want their children to be injured or their growth stunted....   [tags: Muscle, Bodybuilding, Strength training]

Research Papers
1166 words (3.3 pages)

Free College Admissions Essays: Strength and Weakness

- Strength and Weakness Everyone has strengths and weaknesses but as a child, it's hard to deal with your weaknesses. It's not until you grow up and realize that you have to use your strengths to overcome your weaknesses. Combining logic with technology can be a useful tool. For me it was the way to overcome my disability. Early on in my education I encountered learning disabilities. These learning disabilities included reading, spelling, grammar, and difficulty in time writing reports. These learning disabilities have frustrated me....   [tags: College Admissions Essays]

Free Essays
468 words (1.3 pages)

Why College Is Not Free Essay examples

- ... Bryce Covert from Think Progress states, “That means that with the money it already spends to make college affordable, the government could instead subsidize public college tuition, thereby making it free for all students. This would not just mean anyone could attend a higher education institution without worrying about cost, but it could incentivize private ones to reduce their costs in order to compete with the free option”(Covert 1). Higher costing colleges will try to bring tuition down to an affordable cost to gain more students instead of the free colleges....   [tags: Higher education, University, College]

Research Papers
856 words (2.4 pages)

College Tuition Should Be Free Essay

- ... For instance, “In 2010, graduates that borrowed money graduated with owing an average of more than $26,000”(The White House). As a result, President Obama has expanded federal support to help more families and students to afford higher education (The White House). Also, he believes that it is a shared responsibility of the federal government, states, colleges, and universities for making higher education affordable. Lastly, a third point of view is improving transparency and accountability (The White House)....   [tags: Higher education, College, University]

Research Papers
1132 words (3.2 pages)

Public College Should Be Free Essay

- Four-Year public College Should Be Free Zamzam Albulushi Ohio University Today, in order to meet the demands of a growing global economy, Americans need more experience and ability (Kelly, 2011). To enhance the skills of Americans, the colleges decide to raise tuition fees for college students in public colleges. In that case, the college students are forced to pay exorbitant tuition fees for four years, and in order to help them the government allocates grants as a way to improve college students’ income....   [tags: University, Higher education, Education, College]

Research Papers
1182 words (3.4 pages)

College Is Tuition Free? Essay

- ... So there goes more people that are not going to continue their education. The better chance somebody has going to community college is right after high school. But not all community college students are between the ages of eighteen and nineteen. Majority of them are in the late twenties and early thirties, and many older ones. Most of them are coming part time, before and after work. Some are even moms and dads that come while the kids are at school; only taking one or two classes because that is all they can afford....   [tags: College, High school, Higher education]

Research Papers
869 words (2.5 pages)

Arthurian Features in That Hideous Strength Essay

- Arthurian Features in That Hideous Strength                Tales change with every teller. Features may be added or subtracted, stories may be broken apart or combined. Often the story-teller will adapt the tale for his own purposes to emphasize some theme of his own. C. S. Lewis uses and modifies older sources in many ways in his novel That Hideous Strength, incorporating themes and portions of Arthurian literature to add color and emphasize the subjects of his plot.   Lewis includes many direct references to older Arthurian literature in his novel....   [tags: Hideous Strength]

Research Papers
2152 words (6.1 pages)

Free College Essays - Change of Characters in Shakespeare's Othello

- Change of Characters in Othello Othello's character during the play is first shown as a hero of war and a man of great pride and courage. The other main characters in the play all form their own opinions of him and as the play continues, his character begins to deteriorate and become less noble. Chronologically through the play Othello's character changes from a flawless military leader, to become a murderer. Also as the play progresses, the other characters in the play change their opinions of Othello which causes the plot to happen the way it did....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Othello]

Free Essays
1063 words (3 pages)

Related Searches

A Raisin in the Sun is a very interesting play about the Younger's, a family that lives in the Chicago south side ghetto. The characters in the play are Ruth her husband Walter, their son Travis, also Beneatha and Lena. The family is poor and very much so hopeless in finding a new home. Lena is lucky though she found a very nice home in Clyborne Park in a white neighborhood. In the beginning of the play the family is waiting for a 10,000 dollar check. Each family member has there own thoughts on what they should do with the money. Lena wants a new home and so she could support the family, Walter wants to invest the money in a liquor store, and Beneatha wants the money so she could pay for medical school. According to Lorraine Hansberry, Joseph Asagai was her favorite character to create. He is a Nigerian student who is Beneatha's confidant. Mama is a very good example of a black matriarch trying to keep her family in line. Mama is a very religious women. She is up set and smacks Beneatha when Beneatha tells her that she does not believe in God. Mama tells her that if she lives in her house she must believe in God. Jean Bond's opinion was that "the play contained dramaturgical implications which were brought out by Walter" (Bond 212).

    Catherine Scheader notion was "the drama had a great sense of spiritual conflict in the area of Walter Younger's soul with an obbligato of social awareness" (Scheader 216). According to Margaret Wilkerson he thought this play was "excellent and never before in the entire history of the American theater had so much of the truth of Black peoples lives been on stage" (Wilkerson 55).

    The author, Patricia C. MCKissack proclaimed "A Raisin in the Sun is one of the greatly enhanced by well ordered revelation of the events which are so important in the lives of the characters" (MCKissack). Also Lorraine Hansberry kept our interest by developing the characters through out the play. The characters are people who collaborated with other people and confronting there confusion and anger. Elizabeth Phillips thought the play was old fashion and had almost no serious playwright. However he thought "the plays strength lied in the characters and the problem of Walter Lee" (Phillips). If the play was to be written differently it would have had no real significant meaning. Steven Carter another dramatist "liked the play and thought that the characters had a big part in developing it". "The play was enjoying and revival" according to Mr. Carter. "The characters were critical to its dramatic tensions and understanding" (Carter). Beneatha had a real strong sense of her racial pride. She had a powerful believe in her culture and heritage. The play was also about dreams. Beneatha wanted to be a medical student, Ruth wanted to get away from the run-down neighborhood, and Walter wanted his liquor store. Catherine Scheader, in her work "Lorraine Hansberry: Playwright and Voice of Justice" had this to say "The plight of the Youngers enfiladed by economic insecurity from one side and by race prejudice from the other offers the author obvious opportunities to indulge in propaganda for interracial justice" (Scheader 215). Mrs. Scheader again thought the play "...stirs the emotions of some observers while pricking the conscience of others" (Scheader 215). In the end Walter Kerr thought the play "was an authentic portrait of the aspirations, anxieties, ambitions and contradictory pressures of affecting a humble Negro family in a big city" (Kerr 212).

    The play itself and the characters resemble the way Lorraine lived. The four characters Lena, Ruth, Beneatha, and Walter Lee, transformed a play into a masterpiece of modern drama by their dialogue and actions. Hansberry believed strongly in her African heritage, and she incorporated her knowledge of her African past by associating it mostly between Beneatha and Asagai. The way Hansberry describes her characters each one had to depend on one another for support in survival. I thought Hansberry's drama of a Negro family struggling for survival was excellent by the way she made that play revolve around her childhood, and the way she developed each character.

Works Cited:

Bond, Jean Carey, ed. "Lorraine Hansberry: Art of Thunder, Vision of Light." Freedomways. 19.4.

Carter, Steven. Hansberry's Drama. New York: Penguin Books, 1993.

Cheney, Anne. Lorraine Hansberry. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1984.

Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar, eds. The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Tradition in English. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1985.

Kerr, Walter. "A Raisin in the Sun" The New York Times Theatre Reviews March 8, 1959

MCKissack, Patricia C. and Frederick L. Young, Black, and Determined: A Biography of Lorraine Hansberry, 1997

Phillips, Elizabeth C. The Works of Lorraine Hansberry: A Critical Commentary. New York: Monarch Press, 1973.

Scheader, Catherine. Lorraine Hansberry: Playwright and Voice of Justice, 1998.

Wilkerson, Margaret, ed. Nine Plays By Black Women. New York: New American Library, 1986.
Return to