Essay on A Raisin In The Sun

Submitted By MoGrysz
Words: 1462
Pages: 6

Monica Gryszowka 15 October 2014
“A Raisin in the Sun” Play Analysis
Everyone seems to know the "American Dream" as living a life of freedom, it is having the chance of achieving success and being prosperous which is attained through hard work. It is having a beautiful home with a white picket fence and a happy family to come home to after the hard work that is put into living the dream. It is inevitable that everyone has their own dreams that they want to achieve but there are always some obstacles that stand in the way of that. In the play "A Raisin in the Sun" by Loraine Hansberry, the Younger’s, an African American family living in the 1950's, is struggling to live out their dreams. The Younger family, consists of five people, Lena (Mama) who is the main owner of the apartment, her daughter Beneatha, her son Walter and his wife Ruth with their son Travis. All three generations are stuck living together in a small apartment in the south side of Chicago. It consists of two bedrooms, one where Mama and Beneatha share a room and the other is shared between Ruth and Walter. Then there is the living room which is also used for Travis's room, and contains a little kitchen right next to it. The apartment is so small that they have to share a bathroom with their neighbors out in the hall. Needless to say they live in a cramped space which adds tension and a dour-like atmosphere to the family throughout the play. Most of the play takes place in the apartment which contributes to the sense and feel of the set that Hansberry is trying to convey; it functions as a character through the life of the Younger's. The apartment and the area they live in impacts each character and depicts their chances of achieving the "American Dream" while living in an overcrowded, worn out place in poverty. The apartment is depicted as a congested and weary place throughout the rooms. It gives the audience the feel of what living in poverty is like. "Its furnishings are typical and undistinguished and their primary feature now is that they have clearly had to accommodate the living of too many people for too many years - and they are tired" (23). The source of the problem is that too many people live in there so it is impossible to fit comfortably, they have no other option but to make the most of what they have. The apartment is characterized as a necessity to the family, it is all they have. It creates the atmosphere of the play when the Younger's begin to wake up, Ruth rushes Travis to get in the bathroom since there is only one that is shared between them and their neighbors. Travis is extremely tired because Walter was up late the night before and was being talking loud with the adults. The small space of the apartment creates complications of Travis not being able to get the right kind of sleep in the living room. It portrays the fact that it is an area used for multiple purposes where everything basically takes place to illustrate how the apartment causes complications and sets the mood as tiresome. The scene continues with Walter and Beneatha constantly waiting for the bathroom to be open so they could rush in before anyone else gets to it. While there seems to be conversations going on between them they cannot fully engage in the conversation because of keeping an eye out for the bathroom. The fact that so much of the scene is focused on the bathroom shows how it becomes a character by interfering with what is going on. It becomes part of the scene portraying the struggle that they face every morning just to get ready and start their days. The apartment makes them tired because of the lack of space and does not allow them to have a well-rested morning and being able to get ready. Furthermore, the furniture and setting in the apartment illustrates the attempt to achieving dreams and the hardships that come in the way. Hansberry includes the background facts of how it all began in the apartment where they all live in. At some…