Lorraine Hansberry wrote the play A Raisin in the Light. The play is about a lower-class black family attempting to achieve middle-class recognition. The play begins with one of the actors, Mama, a sixty-year-old mother of the family who is about to collect a $10,000 insurance payout after the death of her husband. The play’s drama revolves entirely around how the paycheck can be invested. There are several literary works and poetry that can be compared to Lorraine Hansberry’s work. August Wilson’s Fences is one such novel. A Raisin in the sun and Fences are easily comparable in terms of drama and setting (Hansberry, p.96). For both dramas, women characterization seems very similar there is a comprehensive similarity between Ruth and rose. Similarities between their characters are very evident. The women both Ruth and Rose in the toughest times both of this women are seen to be very supportive of their husbands. Ruth is seen as a stronghold to Walter during his hardships. She nevertheless is a strong force in her husband_x0092_s life as she offers support to her husband when opportunities arise. Rose also holds the same response to her husband Troy, who is a force coupled with anger and frustration. He is incapable of dispensing any form of emotion but Rose does not give up on him as she never wavers in supporting him.
In both a raisin in the sun and fences, there is a significant amount of contrast when it comes to their husbands. There are views in particular that Walter is on his way to deferring from his marriage but there is lack of conclusive evidence he is straying from his marriage. Troy, however, is another case who fully embraces that he has strayed from his marriage by having an affair with Alberta. Troy is seen to confess to his wife rose about it and as such an emotional rift is the result of the affair. This is not evident in Ruth_x0092_s scenario, however. Rose must uphold her role in the marriage while knowing there are another woman and a child resulting from the affair while at the same time must cope with Lyon a child from a separate previous relationship. Rose is seen to take up all these struggles as she upholds her responsibility to Cory too. The hardships, in this case, are in contrast to what Ruth has to go through her struggles are purely monetary as she struggles to take care of her family. The contrast in both a raisin sun and fences is seen as the struggles that these two women endure.
Another clear point of similarity in both a raisin sun and fences is how Lena younger is seen to be similar to Troy Maxson from fences (Wilson, p.87). Both of this characters are African American individuals who are seen as the leaders of their families and their lives indicate that they both come from struggling families. Both Troy Maxson and Lena younger share a vision that their children should have better lives. This vision enlightens them to be dedicated and to be hardworking when it comes to their families despite Troy Maxson having a mistress we view that he is extremely committed to his family. They are both able to win battles against color barriers in the society as Lena younger purchases a house in a white community while troy Maxson becomes the first African American to own a garbage truck driver.
The contrast between the two characters is noted in ways such as Lena younger shares a belief that she can successfully cross the color barrier in the sense that at the end of the play she leaves for her new house in full confidence. She is seen to encourage her children to face the world as they pursue their dreams. This attitude is the contrast to what Troy_x0092_s typical attitude becomes as a garbage truck driver he becomes disappointed with his life as he nevertheless longs for the days he worked in the back of the truck with other people. He shares his negative emotions with his son who is playing football in the white community. He discourages his son from playing football in the white community with the evident fear that he won_x0092_t amount to anything engaging in the sport. The contrast in both is that Lena younger has faith in integration in the white world while Troy Maxson is defensive about the white world his fears makes him put up a figurative barrier to shield his family from the white world as this is literally significant to the title of the book is a fence.
A raisin sun can also be compared to other significant literal works such as poems (Elufiede et al p.19). There is a close relationship seen been a raisin sun and Harlem also known as a dream deferred (Hart, p.164). Lorraine Hansberry is seen to support the theme of her play with a montage from a dream deferred written by Langston Hughes. The happenings in a dream deferred are supported by phrases like drying up like a raisin in the sun. This is the answer to a question posed in the poem the question nevertheless being ”What happens to a dream deferred?” The final question posed in the poem being “or does it explode?” Similarly, the play is set in such a way that it contains the dramatic bombs of the younger family who like the poem find it hard to realize the reality of their dreams. The family is seen to have a unison vision of acquiring a better life but go through a hard time while competing for the insurance money left by their late father. Walter wants to open up a liquor store and this dream gives him the notion that the money gained will make him successful as a Blackman while his sister has a dream of finishing school with the money in a bid to pursue life as a doctor. Mama, on the other hand, is a different variable who has a dream of moving out their ghetto community and leaving their rusty house behind.
Their frustrations are seen as their dreams are deferred and their feelings and emotions like the poem are seen to explode like a bomb. Walter, in particular, has gone through a number of struggles in his life he particularly shares a negative feeling to being a personal driver as he feels like a slave in what is described as a century of freedom. His dream is what is seen to keep him on his toes as he patiently waits for the insurance money following his father_x0092_s death. He has the idea that opening up the liquor store would make him successful as a black man. His dream crumbles however when his family does not show interest in dispensing the money to him to open up a liquor store. This is symbolic of the poem itself about deferred dreams Walter_x0092_s dreams after this dry up like a raisin in the sun (Mernissi, p.87). Evidently, Walter is frustrated about this as he openly confronts his family about this raising questions to his sister why she needs to be a doctor. In this ways, his deferred dreams are seen to explode. The poem paints a perfect picture of what happens when something that continuously promised in form of a vision is never realized.
The picture painted by a raisin sun is of a family hopeful of achieving their dreams but at every turn, their dreams are deferred. Take the case of mama who by now should have been able to retire but seemingly can_x0092_t due to some turns in the play, Beneatha who is Walter sister also has numerous opportunities to realize her dream but with every turn it drifts further and further away while Walters dream of opening a liquor shop is abruptly shut down as the family does not share the interest of financing the ten thousand dollars on his dream. The drying up of their dreams like a raisin in the sun is evident in such cases.
Elufiede, Oluwakemi, Tina Murray, and Carrie J. Boden. Enhancing writing skills. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc, 2016. Print.
Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the sun. London: Methuen, 2001. Print
Hart, James D. The concise Oxford companion to American literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. Print.
Mernissi, Fatima. The harem within. London: Doubleday, 1994. Print.
Wilson, August. Fences: a play. New York: New American Library, 1986. Print.