A Raisin in the Sun | Teen Ink

A Raisin in the Sun

August 1, 2020
By KrisQian BRONZE, Salisbury, Connecticut
KrisQian BRONZE, Salisbury, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

In Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, Beneatha is the sister of Walter and the daughter of Mama. They received $10,000 from an insurance company since Beneatha’s father, Mama’s husband’s, death. After they receive the $10,000, they are deciding how to use it. Naturally, they all want to have the money. Beneatha wants it because she wants to continue her college studies. From the story, we know that Beneatha is different from other black people such as Walter and Mama and her “American dream” is different.


The most important difference between Beneatha and the rest of her family is her college education. She is the first one in the Younger family to attend college. Beneatha says she wants to further her education after college to become a doctor. In these ways, she is different from other black people because, in 1959, there were few black people and even fewer women who had the opportunity to become doctors. She pursues equality, freedom, and choice. Because she is well educated, she understands that there is a long way to make up the balance between black people and white people. From the play, Beneatha says: “And forgive me for ever wanting to be anything at all! (Pursuing Walter on her knees across the floor) Forgive me, forgive me, forgive me!”


In this scene, Beneatha is being sarcastic by apologizing to her brother for having dreams of becoming a doctor because Walter does not really think it can happen. When he tries to make her feel bad about the sacrifices everyone is making for her to go to school, she stands up to him and defends her plans. We can see that Walter’s mind is still old school because he thinks the inequality between black and white people is not going to change. However, Beneatha is trying to achieve the same thing that white people can, such as go to college and become a doctor. Being a woman makes her goals even more difficult.


There is another quote from the play that shows the difference between Beneatha and other black people, “I mean it! I’m just tired of hearing about God all the time. What has he got to do with anything? Does he pay tuition?” In this scene, Beneatha is arguing with Mama about her belief in God. Shortly after, Mama slaps Beneatha and makes her declare that in her house, God still exists. This scene shows the conflict between Beneatha’s liberal opinions and Mama’s traditional and more conservative views because Mama thinks praying to God is the only way but Beneatha believes that the way to success is to work hard. It also shows how the family’s financial struggles have caused Beneatha to doubt her religious upbringing.


To summarize, this play is all about the American dream. The character Beneatha has a huge impact because she has a different “America dream” and she is determined to achieve it. Also, she has many courage to support her dream and never give up.

The author's comments:

I read this play during the summer and wrote this commentary about the play

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