Well this is the last written blog of the semester and I probably won’t be posting for awhile. Thanks to everyone who commented and liked. A Raisin in the Sun is the final play of the semester and it was different to me because I portrayed the character of Joseph Asagai. The play is set in southside Chicago 1959 a time of conflict between races and generally a difficult time for African Americans.
A reoccurring theme shown by many of the characters is the struggle to reach their dreams. They all depend on some insurance money for the realization of their dreams. Mama wants to buy a house for them to stay in, and for Beneatha to be able to go to school. Walter wants to get a liquor license so that he won’t have to be a chauffeur any more. Beneatha’s dream is to become a doctor. George Murchison wants to marry Beneatha. Joseph Asagai wants to marry Beneatha and return to Nigeria.
When the insurance check arrives it seems like all their dreams are coming true. Mama goes out and buys a house in a white neighborhood. She gives the rest of the money to Walter to put in the bank for Beneatha’s schooling but instead he gives the money too one of his business partners. The business partner unfortunately takes the money and runs. Just when everyone in the family is optimistic about the future, their one hope is gone. The money would have paid for Beneatha’s schooling, rent for the house and many other things but now is completely gone, along with the family’s hope.
It takes them some time to realize that hope is never lost and that their hope does not come from money but from each other and what their ancestors went through before them. Their ancestors were slaves and they had reason to lose hope of a future free of slavery but they didn’t.
Mama remembers that time and the importance of family that helped give their ancestors hope. She shows her care for her family by giving them some of the insurance money and by buying a house. A motif that shows her care is her plant that she is constantly checking and watering. She does her best to teach her children the importance of family and is clearly evident when she is speaking to Walter about Ruth’s baby.
Walter is surprised to find out that his wife Ruth is pregnant and is not happy and in fact wants to abort it but Mama will not tolerate that. She prods Walter to step up and be a man throughout the whole play and in the end He eventually does. When a man from the neighborhood comes to the apartment to pay the family not to move in to the new house, Walter steps up and refuses to be paid. He insists that He has a good family and wants to live a good life.
The story shows more than just racial tension. It portrays a family that cares about each other and want each other’s dreams to come true even if their hope for financial success is lost.