A RAISIN IN THE SUN
A Raisin in the Sun is set somewhere between the present and World War II. It is in 1959 at Chicago’s Southside. It is morning, Travis and Ruth are sleeping on a make-down bed. As the alarm clock rings, Ruth storms out of her room, passes her sleeping son, Travis, and jiggles him a little. After she raises a dusty shade, the morning light flows in. Here is when she calls her son amidst yawns. Aged 30, her life seems to fall short of her expectations. On informing her young son that it is 7:30, he heads for the bathroom that is located out in the hall. The bathroom is shared by other families dwelling on the same floor.
Walter, Travis’ father wakes up some moments later after his wife, Ruth has called him for the fourth time. He has to wait for Travis to come back from the bathroom so that he can as well use it considering that Mr. Johnson takes the place. Walter lights up a cigarette, throws a compliment to his wife, then Travis comes back from the bathroom moments later. This is a brief description of the Younger family. The house is shared by four adults and one young child, Travis, Ruth’s son.
Through Walter, the theme of racism is well cultivated. We witness some degree of antagonism between him and his wife Ruth. This antagonism is heightened further when their conversation becomes more apparent about the impacts of racisms and how they have divided sexes. Walter increasingly lays a lot of blame on Ruth for crushing his dream even though we can comprehend Ruth’s caution. She does this owing to the prevailing pragmatism as well as the inadequate resources available in African American society which emerges to be a racist society. Ruth has a limited but yet an unwittingly contribution towards racism and its effects.
Ruth is not happy with Walter’s inquisitiveness towards Beneatha. She grows sad when he keeps on asking her the monotonous school and the cost of the career path she wants to follow, a doctor. Ruth instructs Walter to leave Beneatha alone. However, Walter is not silenced by this. He goes ahead to mock Beneatha’s concern for mama and ironically tells her to stop being that ambitious because she might end up being just like the other nurses or worse still, get married and shut her mouth. According to Walter, a woman like Beneatha doesn’t have to be a doctor.
Beneatha on the other hand extends the theme of racism. She asks Walter if he wants her to drop school. He answers that they have had so many sacrifices so it could be better if she did something for the family. Walter even pints out that it is due to Beneatha that Mama is not able to invest in liquor store. He himself to them as to be the most backward race of people in the world yet he belongs to the same race.
Beneatha has an ambition just like Walter. However, she maintains that her dream won’t be shattered. It is through Beneatha’s heated argument with Walter and Ruth that we get to know of the racism that prevails among other people out there. When mama seeks to know who she is going out with that night, she answers that she is going out with George Murchison who again she assumes to be shallow. Even though Ruth says that he is rich, Beneatha objects because she thinks Ruth doesn’t understand, more especially since she married her brother. She refers to Murchison to be the only individuals in the world who are more arrogant than all the wealthy colored people.