I think it is appropriate to look at the play from a racial equity lens and a feminist criticism perspective. Hansberry defined the plot of her play as a clash between an American family and the mercantile ideals of society. The action in the play is devoid of external drama and extreme situations. If only the external component is analyzed, A Raisin in the Sun is the story of an African-American family moving into a new home in a white neighborhood of Chicago. The artistic focus was primarily on the creation of multifaceted stage characters. A dream motif has invariably animated black literature since the era of slavery. Hansberry has the apt quote, “Seem like God didn’t see fit to give the black man nothing but dreams” (1959, p. INSERT THE PAGE NUMBER). The content of this dream becomes an essential form of characterization in the play.
All Youngers have their own features, dreams, and unique characteristics. Lena Younger is an uneducated, religious woman with a strong sense of self-worth. Beneatha, the youngest daughter, is studying to be a doctor, and her goal is not simply to arrange her personal life, but above all, to express herself. This heroine acts as a woman who does not want to live by the past precepts – she wants to achieve career success. Lena’s eldest son Walter Lee Younger has a dream to have his own wine business. He judges life from a utilitarian point of view, believing that money will be his protection against racial humiliation. Walter’s fate is another variation on the collapse of the American dream. However, the American dream does not turn out to be an illusion for Walter alone. All of the Youngers have narrowed perspectives on life, for they are all black and are therefore forced to face the racist treatment of them as second-class citizens.
You have chosen an excellent method of analyzing this literary work by appealing to a racial perspective. I think you have asked some interesting questions that allow you to understand the matters raised in A Raisin in the Sun more deeply. I want to suggest that in addition to George’s quote that “heritage is nothing” (1959, INSERT THE PAGE NUMBER), you add a quote confirming that for Beneatha, her background is essential. Indeed, racial ignorance prevalent in the United States is probably why even people of African-American descent choose to ignore or deny their roots.
Hansberry, L. (1959). A raisin in the sun. Random House.