Critical Analysis of A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry is a book about the Youngers, a family living on the south side of Chicago between 1945 and 1959. Throughout the work the family deals with the struggles of poverty, racial discrimination and their dreams of having a better life. Although the time frame of this book has a large impact on the family’s struggles, the importance of family takes a leading role in creating the main theme of the story.
This central issue is expressed by using symbols, obstacles and major conflicts. Family is the basic social unit. Family represents people living together by ties of marriage, blood or adaptation, thus representing a single household. An individual’s outcome is directly affected by the household he or she is brought up in. This is evident when Ruth was contemplating aborting her baby. If it was not for Mama convincing Ruth’s husband, Walter to talk to Ruth, the baby would have been aborted. “Your wife say she going to destroy your child.
And I’m waiting to hear you talk like him and say we a people who give children life, not who destroys them—(She rises) I’m waiting to see you stand up and look like your daddy and say we done give up one baby to poverty and that we ain’t going to give up nary another one … I’m waiting. ” The importance of family is prevalent in that situation and throughout the novel. Individuals get their morals from their family. Growing up the family is what validates what’s normal, what’s right or wrong, and what is expected. Family is the foundation of character.
Society benefits from the importance of family because when a family instills positive values in an individual, that individual will be a productive asset to society. On the contrary, when an individual is raised in a situation that hinders productivity, he or she will more than likely be a detriment to society. This is shown in the novel when Mama is explaining that in her mother’s house there is a God: “Now—you say after me, in my mother’s house there is still… In my mother’s house there is still God. ” The idea of that is a direct example of an individual’s respect to home.
It also explains how having a strong family instills ideas in persons for a lifetime. Lastly, family is very significant to an individual. The significance of family is made present in the novel. Hansberry writes, “And we have decided to move into our house because my father—my father—he earned it for us brick by brick. We don’t want to make no trouble for nobody or fight no causes, and we will try to be good neighbors. And that’s all we got to say about that. We don’t want your money. ” Although Lindner’s offer seemed very promising, the family decided to stay together and go ahead and move.
A family can be the best thing for a person when it comes to support. Even though the family was not placed in the best situation, they can stay in the comfort of one another and make their circumstances. In the novel, family is the only outlet for the individuals in the family. Mama’s plant is a very strong symbol throughout the novel. She thoroughly takes care of the plant by watering it, moving it into sunlight and sometimes even taking it with her. The plant symbolizes Mama’s care for the family as well as the growth of the family from the beginning of the story to the end. Sometimes you just got to know when to give up some things … and hold on to what you got. …” Ultimately, the central issue is that family is important, productive, and beneficial to society. Lorraine Hansberry comments on the importance of family and also on the impact of family throughout the novel. The primary theme of the story is made clear through Hansberry’s reference to the importance of family. Many times an individual can lose sight of values and morals and in most cases the only thing that can help is family. Family works in mysterious ways and can be the solution to many problems that bestow upon individuals.