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Point of View in A Raisin in the Sun

Instructor: Joseph Altnether

Joe has taught college English courses for several years, has a Bachelor's degree in Russian Studies and a Master's degree in English literature.

In her play, ''A Raisin in the Sun'', Lorraine Hansberry uses her characters' points of view to emphasize their particular issues concerning family, the individual, and heritage.

Introduction

Lorraine Hansberry describes several days in the life of a black family in Chicago during the 1950s. Although the action in A Raisin in the Sun amounts to little more than discussions among family members in their small, aging apartment, the presentation of these ideas has great importance. Hansberry allows her characters to raise these issues in normal conversations in order to filter them through a particular point of view. It is their point of view on these topics that emphasize what issues people were facing on a daily basis.

Female Point of View

The female point of view for A Raisin in the Sun comes from Ruth Younger and her mother-in-law, Lena Younger, better known as Mama. Both of these women are concerned with the family. They look at their individual relationships with the other members of the family, as well as the stability and well-being of the family unit as a whole. Ruth's communication style comes across as harsh, but her tone demonstrates the care and love she has for her son Travis, and her husband, Walter. She wants them to succeed, much as Mama does for her son, Walter, and her daughter, Beneatha. As they look to improve their living situation by moving from their aging apartment to a house in the suburbs, Ruth and Mama give the reader a point of view that focuses on family.

Male Point of View

Walter Younger is the husband of Ruth Younger and Mama's son. His point of view, in the dramatic work A Raisin in the Sun, may appear to be selfish and self-centered. Although the Younger family has many different ideas about how to use the insurance money Mama is expecting, Walter continually expresses how he should use the money as he sees fit. From Walter's point of view, his use is not for selfish needs. He wants to better his family through the ownership of a liquor store. But it has additional meaning. Walter is seeking independence. He wants to be his own man, not only in his family, but in society as well. He wants the world to see that a black man can be successful without any assistance from the white man.

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