Monday, March 8, 2010

Attitude Toward Women in "Raisins"

So we recently read the play A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry. In some of my other classes, my professors talk about the role of women throughout the late 1800s and the 1900s. Women were suppressed. They couldn't write, air their opinions, etc. They were to remain in the house cooking, cleaning, remodeling, or creating babies and then rearing said children. This same view could be seen in the play.
Walter was not a favorite character of mine. He seemed shallow and self-centered. At one point in the play, he says, "That's it. There you are. Man say to his woman: I go tme a dream. His woman say: eat your eggs. Man say: I got to take hold of this here world, baby! And a woman will say: Eat your eggs and go to work. Man say: I got to change my life, I'm choking to death, baby! And his woman will say: Your eggs is getting cold!" While he is "dream[ing]", his wife is cooking his eggs, caring for him. She tells him "eat your eggs and go to work." He is never going to "take hold of this here world" if he keeps dreaming. She's telling him to get up and do something. While it's fine if he wants to change his life, he needs to think of his family and not just himself. He can't just quit his job and chase a dream without anything to fall back on. The wife can't do everything by herself.
He also says, "We one group of men tied to a race of women with small minds." Walter seems to be philosophizing the whole time, while the women of the story are working to fix thigns, even if they're not big things that are going to change the world. They're keeping things livable at home, while Walter goes off to get drunk and Travis weasels out of chores at home, knowing all to well that his grandmother is going to take care of it.

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