A Raisin in the Sun vs Harlem: Compare & Contrast
The paper aims at analyzing the connection between two literary works. The first work is the play A Raisin in the Sun, produced by Lorraine Hansberry. The second work is the poem Harlem, authored by Langston Hughes. Hansberry borrowed the phrase “A Raisin in the Sun” from Hughes’ poem because of its literary significance (Line 3). The phrase “dream deferred” (Line 1) is also borrowed by Hansberry from the poem, due to literary significance.
Hansberry applied the statement “A Raisin in the Sun” (Line 3) to explain the effects of not achieving major life goals. Dreams that are postponed are mainly not achieved. Walter attempts to set up a liquor business, but unfortunately, the available money is misappropriated. Thus the play ends before Walter realizes the ultimate goal of owning a liquor business and thus wealth. The phrase also implies race relations in the United State, which is in most cases inappropriate. All white neighbors become very uncomfortable with the entry of a new black family in the neighborhood. Mrs. Johnson does not understand why a black family can decide to move into the all-white neighborhood (Act II, Scene ii).
“A Raisin in the Sun” also illustrates the inequalities existing in American society, which is socially and economically unfair. Buying a home in a white neighborhood is relatively cheaper. Black neighborhoods on the south side of Chicago are expensive, and thus Mama decides to acquire the house in the white neighborhood. The phrase also explains the conflicts that arise from the play. Younger families have different perspectives on using life insurance compensation money. Walter greatly desires to open a liquor business; however, mama strongly disagrees with this proposal based on her religious beliefs (Act III, Scene iii).
“Dream deferred” (Line 1) has significance in the poem A Raisin in the Sun. The American dream of social equity is not achieved as illustrated in the poem. A black family is not welcomed to reside in an all-white neighborhood. The black family is also viewed with a lot of suspicions. Karl Linder, the white representative, tries to financially convince the Younger family to leave the white neighborhood. This is aimed at preventing likely racial tensions. The aim of Walter to set up a liquor business is not realized. The money that was supposed to be invested in the business was misappropriated. The investment partners of Walter, Willy, and Bobo, are very naïve and thus the money was absconded (Act II, Scene ii).
Beneatha’s education dream is negatively affected. The money that was to cater to her dream is squandered by the investment partners of Walter. Beneatha also denies the marriage proposal to George, who is a “fully assimilated black man.” George illustrates the unappealing “smarter than thou” behavior that greatly disgusts Beneatha. The assimilated attitude explains the condemnation of the African heritage (Act II, Scene i).
Hansberry effectively borrowed the concept from Hughes’ poem to properly develop the play, A Risin in the Sun. Both literary works explain the challenges experienced in American society. Examples of the problems are; racial tensions, economic inequality, family conflicts, relationships dilemma, and also divisive leadership shown by the white representative.