Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

1138 Words5 Pages
Throughout history, various social injustices have been brought to light through an author’s words. The issue of feminism is one of these issues. Numerous female writers have, through their works of literature, contradicted and challenged the societal status placed upon women – the stereotypical domestic housewife that is inferior to her husband and thus must always submit to his demands – by exposing their true abilities independent of a male figure. In her play A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry demonstrates that there are many ways to be an independent woman as seen in Beneatha's emerging feminism as she strives to figuratively and literally move away from a woman's traditional role in the home by aspiring to be a doctor and travel…show more content…
In other words, had Walter Sr. not died, Mama would still be a typical domestic housewife. The tragic situation had forced her to rise to the occasion to ensure the survival of her family, and thus, it can be concluded that Mama’s independence is not genuine. Furthermore, it can even be argued that since she clearly loved her late husband – as exemplified when she described him as a “…fine man, yes, a fine man – just couldn’t never catch up with his dreams, that’s all” (Hansberry 45) – it is reasonable to deduce that while he was alive, Mama was a dutiful wife who most likely willingly submitted to his demands and whole heartedly supported his decisions. Nevertheless, Mama’s disinclination to yield to the absurd dreams of Walter Junior and her decision to move the family to a white neighborhood prove that, in the end, she is a traditional yet liberated woman. By unwilling to submit to the demands of Walter and brazenly expressing her belief that “there ain’t going to be no investing in no liquor stores” (Hansberry 70), Mama clashes with the accepted societal concept that “… [Women] feel that they must support the men and defer to them [in all situations], even if the actions of the men are questionable” (). Mama patently knows what she should do, and does not let the demands of men sway her from her goals. Likewise, Mama’s determination to move to a white neighborhood enhances her capability of making radical decisions. Not only is she a feminist character, but also a black activist who doesn’t let racial discrimination prevent her and her family from living their life comfortably. This all ties into the courageous, bold, and independent image Mama portrays throughout the
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