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The Life Case

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The play A Raisin in the Sun written by Lorraine Hansberry is about a poor Black family living on the Southside of Chicago in the 1950's. Each family members' internal conflict affects their household. The members of the Younger family depended on the insurance check from their father's death to make their dreams come true.

Walter Lee Younger was both the antagonist and the protagonist. Walter often ignored his family members' feelings because he wanted to be the provider. The $10,000 check gets stolen by Walter's business partner before Walter invests it in a liquor store. Walter goes through the biggest transformation. Hansberry used Walter to represent how poverty and racism can change a person for the worst. In the end, Walter valued family over money. Walter's tea food is quiche. In the 1950's, quiche was a popular pastry black people ate. Walter refused to assimilate into white culture and tried to play the role as provider.

Beneatha "Benny" Younger is Walter's free-spirited younger sister. Beneatha is easily influenced, and often let her boyfriends determine who she is. Benny makes her transformation into a strong woman by deciding to explore her heritage in Africa. Critics often say that Benny represents the possibilities for young black women during the time period. Lorraine Hansberry created Benny to show readers that they should be proud to be who they are and stick to their beliefs. Despite her mother's strong belief in God, Beneatha refuses to put her faith in Him. Because Beneatha wanted to travel to Africa, the best tea food is Liberian rice bread, an African pastry sweetened with ginger and nutmeg.

Ruth Younger, the wife of Walter Younger, is a maid on the Southside of Chicago. Ruth makes many sacrifices for her family, including aborting her child which was illegal in 1959. Ruth often fought with Walter about eating his eggs, a symbol of her pregnancy. Lorraine Hansberry portrayed Ruth as the glue that held the household together. Hansberry saw Ruth's strength, but she knew Ruth would rather "play nice" than fight. Critics described Ruth as weak in comparison to Beneatha, the feminist. The tea food that best represents Ruth is sweet potato pie. New sweet potatoes are grown from old sweet potatoes, making them the symbol of death and rebirth. Ruth's faith was reborn when she decided to keep her baby. Ruth and Walter's marriage was reborn because they got closer despite their hardships.

Lena "Mama" Younger is the mother of Walter and Beneatha. The family struggles after the death of their father. Mama's job is to bring the family back together. Mama tries to teach her children morals. Lena Younger is portrayed as a peacemaker. Critics say Lena Younger is the meaning of home and togetherness. The tea food that embodies Lena Younger is butter biscuits. In the 1950s, butter biscuits



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