In A Raisin in the Sun, what effect does Hansberry's transformation of the historical reality have on an audience?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I tend to think that Hansberry's depiction of a historical reality that shows what can be enables the audience to consider how such a lesson can be evident in their own life.  Walter's decision not to take the money is one that shows the importance of the intangibles in consciousness.  Even in a condition where individuals are chained to a socio- economic form of being in which life is so predicated upon wealth and the tangible benefits of life, Walter's decision and his own transformation can prove inspirational to an audience.  His actions validates a truer understanding of what is "real" and what constitutes the "unreal" in the modern setting.  Money and the desire for it at the cost of one's dignity or one's familial dignity represents that which is "unreal."  Walter validates this.  The effect this has on the audience is profound.  The audience recognizes that Walter's change is something that can be evident in their own lives and in their own pattern of recognition.  The effect of Hansberry's  transforming the historical reality of the drama on the audience is one of reflection and understanding in which such elements can be replicated in both the social context of the audience and the lives of the audience.  It is here where Hansberry's work ends up as having an impact on the world outside of the text, confirming the value of the work.

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