Although Lorraine Hansberry's celebrated play A Raisin in the Sunis set in the 1950s, there are multiple themes and situations explored that are still relevant in today's society. One of the primary themes explored throughout the play concerns deferred dreams. Walter Jr. dreams of one day becoming a...
Although Lorraine Hansberry's celebrated play A Raisin in the Sun is set in the 1950s, there are multiple themes and situations explored that are still relevant in today's society. One of the primary themes explored throughout the play concerns deferred dreams. Walter Jr. dreams of one day becoming a successful business owner, while his sister dreams of becoming a doctor. However, their financial situation and lack of opportunity defer their dreams. Millions of Americans, particularly Black Americans, can relate to their situation and recognize what it is like to have their dreams deferred. Financial struggles, lack of opportunity, and discrimination remain obstacles that prevent individuals from attaining their goals. The belief in the American Dream is still relevant today, as people strive to climb the social ladder and attain financial security like Walter Jr. and Beneatha.
Hansberry's depiction of conflict among family members also remains relevant. Audiences can relate to experiencing conflict with family members due to different interests, personalities, and goals. Throughout the play, Walter Jr., Ruth, Lena, and Beneatha struggle to see eye-to-eye on various issues. The primary conflict between the members of the Younger family concerns what to do with Lena's insurance money.
Racial and gender discrimination also remain relevant issues in today's society, as prejudice continues to negatively affect Black citizens and females. The Black Lives Matter and Me Too movements are evidence that racial and gender discrimination remain relevant issues, which is something Hansberry depicts in her play. Individuals like Karl Lindner represent a racist society determined to prevent African Americans from climbing the social ladder and assimilating. Beneatha also experiences gender discrimination for attempting to become a doctor, which is traditionally a male occupation.
Hansberry also depicts marriage issues between Walter Jr. and Ruth, which audiences can relate to and understand. Walter Jr. believes that Ruth does not support his dreams, while Ruth feels that her husband is distracted and distant. She is also thinking about getting an abortion, while Walter Jr. remains concerned about entering the liquor business. Marriage issues remain relevant, as divorce rates continue to rise in America and couples experience conflict on an everyday basis. Hansberry's ability to explore a myriad of themes that remain relevant in today's society explains why A Raisin in the Sun continues to be popular among modern audiences.