A Raisin In The Sun: Revealing The Racism In A Play

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Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun is a realistic play that follows an African American family living in Chicago during the 1950’s. Hansberry’s work mainly surrounds the relevant topic of racism. Throughout the entirety of the play, each character experiences different forms of racial discrimination that clearly restrain them from meeting their full expectations of life. This racial theme is shown in many instances, to list a few, Walter blames his misfortune on his race, the Younger family being bribed out of their home because of their skin color.

Hansberry continues to illustrate a picture that racism has different complex perspectives that do exist in black communities. Walter is constantly taking out his frustration on his race and continues to blame African Americans for their own hardships. Walter exclaims, “Why? You want to know why? ‘Cause we all tied up in a race of people that don’t know how to do nothing but moan, pray and have babies!” (1.1.59). He is claiming that all African Americans do is whine and complain about how terrible their lives are. He suggests that the black community has always been battling adversities since the beginning and Walter believes that even since he’s worked earnestly his whole life he feels as if his life will always be a failure. Walter is regularly talking down on his own race and is categorizing all African Americans into the same list.

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At one point in the play, Lena Younger, the woman of the house, receives a check in the mail. This is her late husband’s ten thousand dollar insurance check, which causes an array of debate within the household. Lena’s wish is to put forward a fragment of the check towards a down payment on a home in a controversial neighborhood, Clybourne Park. The controversy stems from the racial background of the neighborhood

There are different types of subtle racism being depicted throughout the play. For example, Mr. Linder, the white neighbor, belittles Walter that the community of Clybourne Park get along better with people who share common backgrounds. He offers Walter money to not move to the new house in that particularly segregated community. Linder than goes to say that he does not consider himself to be racist or prejudice. When in fact, there is no such thing as being pleasantly racist. Even though he claims to be aware of his implications on the black community, the indirect discrimination stands out and is not disregarded. Also, there were other African American families that were harassed and assaulted while living in that specific neighborhood. Essentially, this can tie into the fact that there are relations between this and the civil rights movement.  


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