A Rising in the Sun – Lorraine Hansberry

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In the past at around the 1950s, racism between the white Americans and African-American was the norm in United States of America. The segregation that was enforced by some individuals in the authority was legal during the pro, and it spread in almost all the states from the northern to southern parts. Chicago being the most affected city, it had strictly divided into black and white neighborhoods. Lorraine Hansberry, in her play, “A Rise in the Sun,” shows the portraits of African American life in the pangs of discrimination and the struggle of achieving their dream goal of attaining liberation and end the civil war that existed between the blacks and white

Lorraine concentrated her art on a lower class African American family in the suburbs of Chicago, struggling to fight against poverty and racism. The play encompassed Younger’s family led by a single parent, a widowed woman by the name Lena with her four members of the family. The family was composed of Walter Lee, the elder son who worked for a white man and married to Ruth and blessed with a son Travis and Beneatha the only daughter in the family who had passion of becoming a doctor (Hansberry 1). The play exposed the hardship and the socio-economic constraints of the family, they lived in a small apartment with poor conditions that was not conducive and could accommodate the five members comfortably. The widow was just a homemaker when her husband Younger died; she was not able to cater for the family hence her son Walter was forced to work for a white man as a chauffeur to earn some small penny to support the family. He seemed not satisfied with the payment, he dreamt of starting a liquor business with his colleagues. Beneatha had a dream of becoming a doctor but there was no enough money to pay for her medical tuition. Ruth became pregnant and felt that the kid will add more financial pressure to the household and therefore attempted to commit an abortion. Luckily, the family received an email entitling them to a $ 10,000 check from a life insurance policy that Younger, the father of the family, had covered for his family before he died. It was a relief to the family and each member had to give a vote on how to spend the money to solve their domestic problems or accomplish their dreams. Therefore, family matriarch used a quarter of the amount to buy a spacious apartment in the white neighborhood in Clybourne Park and entrust the other three quarters to Walter, the elder son to invest in his dream business of liquor and save the rest for his sister`s education. All of sudden, their dreams were shuttered when Walter lost all the cash through fraud at the liquor store (Hansberry 2). However, Walter protected their new apartment against Karl, a white man who was interested in buying the house, although they could have earned the family some cash to sort out their pet problems. Lee found it beneficial to retain the new home and moved in thereafter, despite their future life still at stake, they managed to accomplish their long awaited dream.

Many writers in the black art during the era did not want to feature the real life of an African American in their work, exposing the effects of segregation and the suffering they go through as they were afraid that they would disseminate abhorrent stereotypes. However, Lorraine Hansberry, without any fear of intimidation, became the first person to use the black art to address the important issues that were revolving around the lives of black people in 1950s. Both white and black audience warmly perceived the art because, that was the time when America was going through the World War II that aroused the racial and domestic tension. “A Rising in the Sun,” came to be in the moment when American was trying to address issue of inequalities and she took advantage of the mood at the time to attract the attention of many. Hansberry through her work was able to broach the conflicts and matters on discrimination, poverty and building African American identity, she managed that through employing black dialect all over the play. She did not only expose the racial tension that existed between the whites and blacks but laid a foundation upon which the blacks would handle or react when oppressed by the white community. She put an emphasis on African heritage; Lorraine used the character of Joseph Asagai to recognize the homeland of the black people. Asagai pleaded to marry Beneatha and take her to Africa after completing her medical study in the university (Hansberry 2). The scene also revealed Hansberry`s dream of upcoming anticolonial movements in African countries, she predicted on the evolution of struggles for liberation and inevitability of integration in the future years. “A rising in the Sun” also depicts the concern on feminist identification and recognition in the community through the Beneatha`s character. It showed that women should be given a chance to explore their ambitions other than just married, Beneatha declined Asagai marriage proposal. It was also revealed in the character of Hale, Younger`s wife. She remained being a homemaker and depended on her husband that when he died, Hale was not able to provide for the needs of her family (Brown 19). Therefore, Hansberry used the play to empower women on fighting for their rights and equal opportunities in the society.

In summary, it is clear that Hansberry`s play, “A Rising in the Son,” has had a huge impact and influence to the modern communities in American and across many countries. The author primarily focused on dreams that motivated her main characters in the play in achieving their goals. Like Martin Luther King, Lorraine believed in dreams that played a great role in the history of revolution. The lesson driven from her art is that, someone`s decision or choice can ruin or make other people’s dreams come true. Walter broke his family members` hearts when he lost the money but brought their dreams back when he protected their new home, he stood by their side. It is worth noting that success is achieved by giving everyone a chance to vote on critical matters and trying to do the best for our families. Hansberry`s dreams have been achieved in the modern pro, African countries have attained their liberty from colonial rule, laws and policy have been imposed against gender and racial discriminations. Therefore, “A Rising in the Sun,” still serves as an important and special cultural document in the history of American and the rest of the world.


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