A Raisin in the Sun

Marxist Literary Analysis of A Raisin in the Sun 11th Grade

“Money is life. Once upon a time freedom used to be life – now it’s money” (Hansberry, 74). The quote from Mama portrays the Youngers, a typical African American family living in Chicago in 1959, in their struggle to break free from the endless cycle of poverty. The family’s attempt to achieve a better life is hindered by many barriers: money, businessmen, and even themselves. Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun can be interpreted the best through the Marxist literary perspective because the themes of the play correlate directly with the theory’s three main areas of study. Economic power is an eminent issue seen in the Younger’s desires to escape poverty and actualize their own version of the “American Dream”. The constant arguing between Walter Lee and his mother Lena Younger reflect the Marxist study of the conflict between materialism versus spiritualism. Lastly, the class conflict is evident through the play in the form of racial discrimination from Karl Linder and Mrs. Johnson towards the Younger Family.

Purdue Owl defines the Marxist literary theory as a school that “concerns itself with class differences, economic and otherwise, as well as the implications and complications of the capitalist system” (Brizee et...

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