A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

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Discuss the father/son relationships in Fences and A Raisin in the Sun.

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Both A Raisin in the Sun and Fences highlight father/son relationships in working class African-American families in the 1950s. Both Walter Younger in A Raisin in the Sun and Troy Maxson in Fences interact with their sons, Travis Younger and Cory Maxson, in ways that reflect each play's themes of race and class. However, a comparison between Walter and Troy's parenting styles reveals a compelling difference.

At the beginning of A Raisin in the Sun, Travis asks his parents for 50 cents to bring to school. While Ruth, Walter's mother, tells Travis that they do not have 50 cents to spare, Walter wants to give his son the money. The Youngers are struggling financially--the beginning of the play reveals that the five members of the Younger family share one bathroom in their small apartment. Walter is a professional driver who aspires to do more with his life. Though they may not be able to afford giving Travis the money, he does not want his son to feel the affects of their poverty.

In Fences , the Maxson...

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