A Raisin in the Sun Analysis Responses Essay

Submitted By Ryan-Pagois
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Pages: 7

Ryan Pagois
A Raisin in the Sun
Literary Analysis Questions Question #1:
Beneatha’s two suitors, Asagai and George, both contribute very opposing viewpoints of
American life and propose entirely different things as Beneatha’s suitors. Asagai reflects on his African heritage with honor and hopes to save Beneatha from becoming an “assimilationist” in this American society and instead wants her to embrace her ancestral past, and even invites her to move back to
Nigeria with him. He teases her with questions about her hair, asking her why she “mutilate[s] it every week” and refuses to wear it naturally (62). As he presents Beneatha with Nigerian robes, she begins to see her heritage as a beautiful and more majestic idea, and not so much as something to move past or forget about. She later takes Asagai’s words to heart and cuts her hair, which shows the amount of influence that he had on Beneatha’s views on both her past and her present. Along with this, Asaigai sees Beneatha as a very beautiful woman, and a valuable partner, and someone to stand by his side. He views the idea of education as invaluable, and necessary in order to fully understand the ways of the world. George, on the other hand, resents his connection to Africa and focuses more on the present and moving on into the future. He is quite rude and outspoken against Beneatha’s views on assimilationism and her African heritage. When she brings up the subject, he mocks her with sarcastic comments toward the “great Ashanti empires; the great Songhay civilizations; and the great sculpture of B é nin” and the “poetry of the Bantu” (81). Along with being a total assimilationist, George views women as someone to support a man and obey him rather than be his partner. He holds education in a high regard, yet he believes more in money than in knowledge. These beliefs enrage Beneatha, and in the end, she rejects George, calling him a “fool” and resenting both him and his beliefs. Question #2:
When Mr. Linder appears at the Youngers’ home, he is initially able to disguise his intentions and hide his racist and offensive proposal to make his idea of having a neighborhood “a certain kind of way” seem much more reasonable. At first, Mr. Linder pleases the Younger family with his seemingly kind intentions as he talks about how people misunderstand each other much too often and it is simply because “people just don’t sit down and talk to each other” (116). This peaks the interest of the
Youngers as they continue to listen intently to Mr. Linder’s presentation. Soon, however, the Younger family sees through Linder’s careful word choice and come to realize the true purpose of his visit.

Linder begins to speak of the people of Clybourne Park having a “common background” and wanting their neighborhood a specific way. Linder then lets his true intentions shine through as he tells the
Younger family that the citizens of Clybourne Park, “rightly or wrongly”, believe that “Negro families are happier when they live in their own communities” (118). The Youngers react defensively by expelling him from their home. Despite the negative atmosphere around Linder’s visit, it results in the furthered and strengthened desire to defy society’s expectations and carry out their plan to move into their house in Clybourne Park, and it also helped bring the family closer together as they continue to bond over their experiences as they have been throughout the play. As for Linder and his desire for a perfect neighborhood, his intentions are not completely astray. The inhabitants of a neighborhood have the right to control aspects of their community to an extent. The line is drawn, however, at the point where a person’s way of life is threatened or challenged. Physical features of the neighborhood can be altered, but the inhabitants themselves should not feel pressured into changing their lifestyle to match that of the neighborhood. Question #3:…