Choice #1: Using Lorraine Hansberry’s text of A Raisin in the Sun as a foundation, compare the representations of A Raisin in the Sun in the 1961 film version to the 2008 film version. The paper can select one scene, several scenes, or the entire production; the key is to have a unifying theme. Pay particular attention to how the same words from Hansberry’s play can be interpreted/represented differently, and how this effect is achieved.
Choice #2 Read Amiri Baraka’s essay, “Expressive Language.” Using this essay, construct an argument that answers the question: what is the role of speech in written literature?
Choice #3: How does knowing more about the author enhance the meaning of [insert whatever piece of literature you choose from the course]? To execute this essay, you will have to: 1) do research on the author’s life (e.g. Hansberry, Mali) and 2) make direct connections between the facts of their lives and the poem/short story/play you select.
Choice #4: Using at least one scholar’s essay on feminism, would you describe Beneatha as a feminist? How? Be sure to use evidence from the play to support your point.
Beneatha challenges societal norms
“A Raisin in the Sun” is an illustrative rise of a controversial female character that mitigates all the myths and obstacles that was faced at different times by the woman due to their behavior and perseverance. In between the 1950s to 1960s, the rise had shown its flamboyant nature and established the right of women that reflected through the writing of Lorraine Hansberry (Hansberry 11-12). It was basically a play and it was written by an African-American woman, though this kind of thing is first addressed in those times so people were quite amazed - rather they became more and more curious to see that Play. Thereafter the masterpiece of feminism and providing light to woman culture and their dream started through the book (Dicker, Rory 52-61). In this paper, the thesis statement of the essay highlights reaches of feminism and different approaches to become judgmental in case of woman dream and desire.
Beneatha is the younger daughter of Lena and the girl was high in ambition. Ambition in a girl was not accepted in those times; rather they were more traditional and kept quiet in all the time as the society was dominated by the men only (Luke, Carmen and Jennifer 110-114). The myth of men organized society or to state their words as the verdict was confronted by the arrival of Beneatha, the girl had dreamt of a doctor and for this reason, the girl wanted to study and not to get married like others (Hansberry 58). The thinking of that girl was quite different from other girls and implementation of that thinking was delivered through the action. In the 1950s, the female characters’ are a stereotype and in between America they express themselves but that not showcased their desire, dream of anything related extravaganza. However, Beneatha is independent, radical and had a good thought about the society and surroundings (Hansberry 3). Beneatha knew that dream of desire that embedded by her was the longing of every girl but they couldn’t help as they had to become the slave to any man (Taylor, Carol and Gabrielle 59-63).
The problem arose in that situation when the judgmental behavior was presented by Beneatha. Decisions were taken by the family. Walter, brother of Beneatha showed disappointment towards Beneatha as she wanted to become a doctor, not nurse. The generation and their complex mindset were liable for this; they couldn’t even think that a woman can rise in such order that created an embarrassing situation for men. All the powerful and elegant positions were acquired by the males as the social structure was male-dominated. But the improvement of the situation will arise through emerging of this kind of character. A play, a story, a thought and a belief can change the entire scenario and woman can understand their power and argue with the society so that they gain their authentic position in society and can be a part of the ambitious and independent world (Scott et al. 68-67).
Feminism established through Beneatha's character
The paper considerably believe that Beneatha was a feminist, not in term of maintaining the ethics of feminism, nor being judgmental of making unruly politics against male, but the way she determined the dream of a doctor was the establishment of female attitude to the society (Basu, Amrita 45). All the description clearly supports the fact of feminism in between Beneatha, the way of feminism and the effective approach of this, which is not at all productive for male-dominated society. Thus, a conflicted situation will come in that scenario to nullify the power of feminism. The typical norms are imposed on the female and still keep quiet in that situation. They had an external life; their expectations and desire were not allowed from society. The evaluation of difference had been seen after few years when women were treated as the same stable level with men and they could dream and aspire in that session (Humm, Maggie 145-152). But in the 1960s, the mental suffering and criticism faced by Beneatha were immeasurable (Hansberry 65-71). The nature of manhood and the independence of woman is the main establishment that persists in the dream of women and provides them a space in society. Beneatha symbolizes the courage, establishment, dream, desire, aspiration, and way of light and becomes an ideal figure for women. Beneatha desired for a doctor in that play, nourishment of abstract idea “feminism” has come on that very point when the over-ambiguous desire from a woman comes in that play (Pratt, Geraldine and Victoria 105-125). The confronting situation also was raised when her brother opposed to the fact, disagreed and deliberately asked her to marry someone and keep quiet. The momentum of enthusiasm and support for the favor of female had not come in that very situation, rather mechanical and scripted reactions from people had come that symbolized the feminism truth and obligatory manner.
“A Raisin in the Sun is regarded as one of the best artistic explorations of the life and struggles of everyday African-American people (Hansberry 4).”
The exploration of life, exploration of sexual proximity or leveling the conflict between women and man and their feeling is the important aspect that was showcased through the book or the play. The incident of the haircut was just and volatile outburst of desire and that is the reason she cuts off in a cropped fashion which was also delivering a threat to social outburst and showing people that fashion statement of the leading style of life is completely an expressing manner of own decision. No one can intersect the maturity or questioning about the matter of her own style, the desire of life leading is also highlighting the feminism issue and breaking the traditional pathway in which male-dominated women were imposed on for years (McNay, Lois 102-107). The society and its barrier came year after year in different form, it comes in terms of passion, desire, dress, strengths, position, view, sense and profession and all those times women are on the addressing side and male provide them verdict if they are enabled to do this thing or not. This is the main concern of this paper to justify their thought and criticizing them at the top notch and then understand the importance of their sustainability in society.
The importance of feminism and individualism
Beneatha’s opinion of her rationalized worldview highlights her exclusive brand of power, perhaps also allocating as an indirect countenance of Hansberry’s specific attitudes. The self-worth system and views on marriage are different in that segment also but the convictions in both the cases are not fruitful. Beneatha mindset was important in that as she senses “manhood” in a different angle and delivers the best result for the eventual decision-making. Women are not their slaves nor they were treated like this, this was the concerned establishment that confines the territory of thinking that Beneatha thought in her mind and want that all other women also think in that same style or manner so that effective change will come. “Feminism” is the not the attitude that showed by women rather it was the fundamental right that women possess and they do not need any permission to live that life (Swirsky, Jill and Angelone 109-110). Thus a functional and courageous statement has been stated in this book by this African-American woman, who fought for her dream, fought for the entire womankind so that in future they can stand and claim for their authority and men have to listen to their statement, understand this and then contempt any verdict for any side.
Therefore all the discussions arguably stretch the importance of feminism and their desire for seeking the establishment that comes of their individualism. The dream of a doctor, neglecting marriage and state the fashion statement is highlighting the fact of courageous establishment for feminism for claiming their position in the society.
Basu, Amrita. Women's movements in the global era: The power of local feminisms. Hachette UK, 2016.
Dicker, Rory C. A history of US feminisms. Hachette UK, 2016.
Hansberry, Lorraine. A raisin in the sun. Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, 2007.
Humm, Maggie. Feminisms: a reader. Routledge, 2014.
Luke, Carmen, and Jennifer Gore. Feminisms and critical pedagogy. Routledge, 2014.
McNay, Lois. Foucault and feminism: Power, gender and the self. John Wiley & Sons, 2013.
Pratt, Geraldine, and Victoria Rosner, eds. The global and the intimate: feminism in our time. Columbia University Press, 2012.
Scott, Joan W., Cora Kaplan, and Debra Keates, eds. Transitions Environments Translations: Feminisms in International Politics. Routledge, 2013.
Swirsky, Jill M., and D. J. Angelone. "Femi-nazis and bra burning crazies: A qualitative evaluation of contemporary beliefs about feminism." Current Psychology 33.3 (2014): 229-245.
Taylor, Carol A., and Gabrielle Ivinson. "Material feminisms: New directions for education." (2013): 665-670.
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