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Raisin in the Sun

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by

Delaney Brown

on 21 May 2015

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Transcript of Raisin in the Sun

The women in the play have harsh standards forced upon them and both Ruth and Mama embrace their traditional roles while Beneatha, challenges the traditional roles as she strives to become a doctor.
Examples:
-pg. 96 (heavy sexist ideas are shown as George tries to tell Beneatha she should only worry about her looks)
Female Rights and Expectations
A Raisin in the Sun
By, Lorraine Hansberry

In the play, several themes regarding gender are reflected in the text. The play provides commentary on subjects such as:
-marriage
-female rights/expectations
-parent/children relationships

Gender Criticism
In the story, marriage is shown to be very difficult and a constant process that requires effort.
Examples:
-pg. 34 (Walter calls his wife unsupportive and Ruth claims her husband to have his head in the clouds)
Marriage
Parent/ Children Relationships
The relationships between the parents and their children is very complicated in the play. Mama and her children have a lot of history so they need to heal, while the relationship between Travis and his parents is more simple.
-pg. 129 (Walter and Mama finally begin to see eye to eye)
Historical Analysis:
Historical Analysis Con...
Historical Analysis Con...
Playwright published in 1959
Time where America was mocked as the land of the happy housewife and the African American who was fine with the position of inferiority.
the inequality spurred the civil rights movement.
Hansberry advocated the civil rights movement in her books
Historical Analysis Con..
Hansberry's central argument in the book revolves around equality and how everyone deserves it
She wanted to accurately show how blacks were treated during that time.
The attitude and voice of the play shaped by the author's life
She relates to the book so she can explain more clearly
Biographical
Lorraine Hansberry
Born: May 19, 1930
Died: Jan. 12, 1965
playwright, author, activist
Granddaughter of freed slave- lived in time when segregation was still legal
In 1938, her family moved to an all white neighborhood where they were attacked. Their case made it to the Supreme Court and when they were ordered to leave they stood their ground.
Lived in the south side
of Chicago- segregation
was still legal
Education Growing Up
Hansberry attended a segregated public school in her community.
She decided to go against tradition of attending a southern black college and attend a white college- University of Madison, Wisconsin.
Hansberry based the play on her personal experiences, labeling it as "recognizably autobiogaphical."
The novel portrays African-American life she experienced.
Won the New York Times critic award-- making her the 5th woman to win the award
Society and Feminism
Characters:
Beneatha:
Youthful, independent, and a feminist.
Takes pride in her culture and is willing to learn more about it
Walter:
Typical African American father in the late 20th century
Lust for money highlights materialistic needs during time period
Mama:
Takes responsibility in making sure her family respects themselves and follows their dreams
Symbol of hope and the American dream.

Education
Contrary to the early 19th century, African Americans and women began to receive more education.
After WW1, women received a higher social status which was then reemphasized after WW2.
Beneatha and her friends are seizing upon these new educational opportunities; they show how society is progressing.


Racism
Racism is one of the more dominant themes in the play.
The distinct white neighborhoods in the play exemplify the "color line" and separation between races.
Beneatha states that one of the things they have to overcome "is the Ku Klux Klan"
Mrs. Johnson warns of the colored families that were bombed out of their homes.
Hansberry's text highlights the oppression African American families faced.

Feminism
Beneatha represents feminism as her character is extremely independent and determined.
Committed to education and determined to become a doctor

pg.74- Asagai, her friend, wishes to have an intimate relationship but she refuses.
pg. 96- Beneatha wants to talk with her friend George but he only wants to kiss her.
Marxist Approach
The protagonist Walter Lee Younger dislikes his job
Struggles to invest in a liquor store he believes will help him and is family, but lacks the money and support.(page 32-34)
Capitalistic Struggles
Money Alters Reality
George Murchison, Beneatha's "boyfriend," is a rich African-American man. He is an assimilated African-American. (acts white)
Hansberry's family was successful and well-educated
•1950’s: civil rights movement era for minority groups
•Title derived from a Harlem Renaissance poem; during the
Harlem Renaissance the “American Dream” was something possible for
black Americans.
•The Younger family is chasing their own American Dream in a time when
there are many obstacles in the way
Authors life was the inspiration for the play
Her family moved to an all white neighborhood
They received threats but did not leave and eventually the situation went to the Supreme Court
This was a time of racial discrimination however the Hansberry family won
He does not care about his culture. (page 96-97)
Went to school for no legitimate reason.
Dominance
George not only maintains his status, not only by his wealth, but also with the fact that he went to college. (page 96-97)
Walter Lee Younger, Ruth, Mama, Beneatha, and Travis:
Social class is a low middle class (economically)
African- American (culturally)
Working class (politically)
The story takes place when segregation is present which also influences their social standing.
Alienation and Fragmentation
Walter is detached from his job by his wanting to invest in a liquor store.
This detaches him from Ruth, his mother Lena(Mama), and Beneatha. (page 32-34 and page 71-74)
Oppression
Beneatha's hair is straight when it is normally "crinkly." (page 62)
Also, the entire family is oppressed by their race.(page 146-149)
Economically being of a low middle class, the entire family struggles.(page 28-34)
Full transcript