A Raisin in the Sun

The Aspirations of Women in A Raisin in the Sun

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun challenges the stereotype of 1950's America as a country full of doting, content housewives. The women in this play, Mama, Ruth and Beneatha, represent three generations of black women who, despite their double fronted subordination, continue to dream of a better tomorrow. Although the aspirations of these women differ in subject, they all involve the furthering their roles as women, whether it be owning a house, paying for a child's education or attending Medical School.

For the Younger women, their dreams seem farther away than they would in the present for most females. Today, owning a house, paying for a child's education or gaining admittance to medical school is much more accessible than it was for these women. In the time this play is set, being a woman means marrying young, having a low desire for higher education and keeping a house clean for the male provider. Since the majority of this play centers around Walter Lee's struggles to prove his self-worth, it is easy to overlook thought-provoking Hansberry's portrayal of women. As a writer, Hansberry is ahead of her time, challenging an American society that is generally happy to leave women in the kitchen.


Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1139 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8808 literature essays, 2350 sample college application essays, 386 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in