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A Raisin in the Sun

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Sabrina M.


A Raisin in the Sun

Somewhere in the late 50's, early 60's lives the Younger family of the South Side of Chicago. Their cramped and dingy apartment is the base of this Lorraine Hansberry play. Lena Younger, the matriarch and mother of 35 year old Walter and twenty something Beneatha, has recently buried her husband. Walther's wife Ruth, and their young son Travis also share the tiny apartment. Their tight quarters are not only intruding on their lives, but the tension mirrors the struggle of the pre-civil rights movement. A time that wasn't the most encouraging for African Americans.

A life of service for the Youngers is what they are accustomed to. Walter works as a chauffer for a white man. His wife Ruth cleans houses for white families and his mother Lena has retired from the same line of work. They all have a singular view of a larger way of life for themselves, but they collectively see one way of getting there. $10,000. Lena's late husband left her a ten thousand dollar life insurance policy. And with this they are be able to afford themselves a future far different from what they are used to.

Walter wants to invest in a liquor store with friends. Beneatha wants to go to medical school and the matriarch is only interested in keeping her family together and seeing that her son becomes the man his father was. So she invests a third of the money into a home in an all white section of Chicago. The other two thirds she gives to her son with the instruction that he banks his sister's third and do what he wants with his third of the money. In that single move, Lena is testing her son. She is trusting him to make a decision for the entire family and also trying to establish him as the new head of the household. Sadly, Walter fails. He ignores his mother's instructions and uses both his and his sister's money for his investment, the liquor store. Regrettably, one of his investors was a scam artist and took off with all the money. And while this is happening, they realize that they are not welcome into their new neighborhood after receiving visit from a representative of the new neighborhood. He offers the Youngers double the money to leave their new home.

Walter, feeling like a fool, becomes desperate to get the money back and figures that since they are already not wanted in the all white neighborhood where their new home is, he might as well just take the offer. His family disagrees with him. The internal struggle within himself to be the man his mom wants him to be and the man he wants to be for his son finally comes to an end when he decides not to take the buy out. He sees his son looking at him and makes the choice that no amount of money is worth his pride. And it was then in that moment that Lena did not have to worry about



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