Literary Analysis "A Raisin in the Sun"

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Literary Analysis - A Raisin in the Sun In the play, A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, the Younger's are a poverty stricken, African American, extended family of five living in a small apartment in Chicago during the 1950's. The mother, Lena receives a life insurance check for her deceased husband for ten thousand dollars and wants to use a portion of it to create a better life for her family and buy a home. The play covers the different ideas that each family member has in regards to how the money should be spent and the hardships that develop from those ideas. The three Younger women, Lena a strong willed older woman with traditional values, Ruth a middle aged hard working woman, and Beneatha a young, egotistical college student, all have unique characteristics which have been formed by the different time periods which they have lived in. Lena Younger, (Mama) is a strong, religious woman whose generation "was worried about not getting lynched and getting to the north...and still having dignity too" (1177) has recently became the head of the Younger family due to the death of her husband. Her dream is to purchase a home for her family with the $10,000 she is receiving from her husband's life insurance. Mama "come from five generations of people who was slaves and share-croppers (1204) that taught her to take pride in herself and her family. She was raised in a generation where the men made the decisions for his family and the wife supported whatever that decision was. Shasta Gaughen indicates that it wasn't until the late 1950's and early 1960's that women started leaving the home and taking on roles other than just a homemaker. Mama grew up where religion was the backbone of the family, youth respected their elders and the power of the dollar did not consume your life, "Once upon a time freedom use to be life - now it's money" (1177) She wants
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