A Raisin In The Sun Family Structure Essay

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Family Structure and Dynamics in A Raisin in the Sun Early on in Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, Walter Younger says that, “A man needs a woman to back him up” (32). This line reflects the common family structure of the post-World War II era and the opinions held by many as to what the roles of men and women were in a family setting. Throughout the play, Hansberry gives the reader a portrayal of a traditional family that flirts with some nontraditional family values. No specific date for the setting of A Raisin in the Sun is given, but the audience is told that it is “sometime between World War II and the present” (Hansberry 24). The reader may assume that “the present” refers to when the play premiered, which was in 1959. This sets A Raisin in the Sun right in the 1950s. 1950s America saw the birth of suburban life, which gave way to the traditional family structure. This family structure “included a father, mother, and their children” (Gleason). The extended family consisted of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, but they generally do not live with the nuclear…show more content…
Beneatha, as stated before, wants to become a doctor and wants to move to Nigeria as opposed to settling into a typical suburban life in America. Ruth is not nearly the feminist that Beneatha is, but she does challenge the traditional family structure slightly. Upon learning that she is pregnant. Ruth considers aborting the fetus. This is notable because abortion was looked down upon in 1950s American society, as women were expected to have children and carry the pregnancy to term. As a result of this stigma, as well as laws against the practice, “about a million illegal abortions a year were performed in the U.S” (Boston Women’s Health Book Collective). Despite not being as radical a feminist as Beneatha, Ruth still challenges the status quo of women in the

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