Summary of Lorraine Hansberry - A Raisin in the Sun Poetry
When Hansberry was a child, she and her family lived in a black neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. During this era, segregation—the enforced separation of whites and blacks—was still legal and widespread throughout the South. Northern states, including Hansberry’s own Illinois, had no official policy of segregation, but they were generally self-segregated along racial and economic lines.
She thinks of abortion, which is banned in the 50’s. Finally, there is Lena’s daughter, Beneatha (desperately wants to be a doctor and her family is very far ahead. Younger than the family believes she would have made the exit from the ghetto, but it must start again from scratch.
Mama is the meddling matriarch of the family, yet she loves and protects her family with unparalleled fierceness. Throughout A Raisin in the Sun, each family member goes through a period of turmoil which inevitably ushers him or her into a new level of maturity. Each of the characters has choices and eventually makes the choices that keep the family united. Even though A Raisin in the Sun is a play about urbanization and the effects of segregation, it can also be viewed as an African-American bildungsroman because each of the main character experiences a transition to another level of maturity. Again, one can ask, “What happens to a dream deferred?” A Raisin in the Sun teaches audiences that people don’t have to yield to the negative effects of their environment. Lorraine Hansberry shows that deferred dreams can give birth to resilience, unity, and new dreams (Austen, Ralph A, 2016).
She wants a garden and that plant is the only thing she can have but it does mean the plant symbolizes hope because she treats the plant like one of her children she nurtures it and wants to take it to a new house to live. Mama’s plant is hope for the future because it thrived or lived through not having a lot of light through that small window in the apartment just like the family went through racism.
Hansberry, Lorraine. “A Raisin in the Sun.” The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Ed. Henry Louis Gates and Nellie Y. McKay. New York: Norton & Company, 2004. 1771-1830. Print.
Austen, Ralph A. “Struggling With The African Bildungsroman.” Research In African Literatures 46.3 (2015): 214-231. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.
Gordon, Michelle. “‘Somewhat Like War’: The Aesthetics Of Segregation, Black Liberation, And A Raisin In The Sun. “African American Review 42.1 (2008): 121-133. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.