In A Raisin in the Sun, how does discrimination impact education?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Discrimination impacting education is seen in the characterizations of Travis and Beneatha.  In Travis' case, the play conveys how the educational system featured might not be immediately reflecting the reality in Brown v. Board of Education.  There is the distinct impression that Travis' education is being impacted with where he lives.  Travis' asking for fifty cents and then asking if he can carry groceries for the money is an example of this.  Travis is an educational setting in which, like the rat he traps, there is some level of correlation between ethnicity, class, and economic opportunities.  

Beneatha's education is not necessarily dictated by race or ethnicity, but is impacted in being a woman.  With the attitudes of her brother, George Murchison, and Joseph Asagai, Beneatha finds that being a woman in pursuit of self- improvement involves men having distinct opinions as to what a woman should achieve.  This social barrier is where one sees discrimination impacting education.  For Beneatha, the desire to define her own sense of self is constantly inhibited by the issue of gender discrimination.  While nothing is denied to her, it becomes evident that discrimination impacts her education as she is constantly having to defend her choices and actions as a woman in a domain largely controlled and populated by men.

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A Raisin in the Sun

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