Fighting to Stay Together
The play A Raisin in the Sun written by Lorraine Hansberry is a story about the importance of family. Though the family is in conflict more often than not, the quarrels actually seem to bring the Younger family closer together. The variance between personalities and viewpoints of how the family would become more prosperous, as well as the setting in which this clash takes place, pushes the family to its breaking point, which surprisingly allows the Youngers to grow closer together and emphasizes the value of family throughout the piece.
The major disputes revolve around Walter Lee Younger, the “man of the house” and oldest male in the family. As the major ...view middle of the document...
This obstinacy, though a central trait in each of the main characters, actually permits each of the family members to break down and realize that their true wealth lies in each other, as opposed to the selfish desires of each individual.
Throughout the play, the settings in which many of these clashes take place emphasize either the tension present or the need for the family to band together. For instance, when Walter Lee is told about his failed investment, the home, in the afternoon, is chosen by the author as the place to hold that conversation. Whereas most of the investment talk had been done either at the bar or late at night when the scheme was in its infant stages, when Bobo brought the news of Willy running off with all of the family’s money, the family home of many years, with the family within earshot no less, made the tension palpable for the reader, and seemingly drove home the idea of togetherness and the importance of communication. One setting that shows the need for family to band together and support one another is merely mentioned; however, it is very powerful and influences the mood and attitude of each family member. By moving into a primarily white neighborhood, the neighbors send Mr. Lindner to discourage the Younger’s from moving. Once Walter Lee refuses to back out of the move, Mr. Lindner responds:
Well - I don't understand why you people are reacting this way. What do you think you are
going to gain by moving into a neighborhood where you just aren't wanted and where
some elements - well - people can get awful worked up when they feel that their whole
way of life and everything they've ever worked for is threatened? (Hansberry 119)
The irony here is palpable, as moving into this neighborhood represents everything the Younger family “ever worked for”. After the initial conflict and shock wears off, the family realizes that the only way to survive this new environment is to band together and support one another unconditionally.