In what ways is A Raisin in the Sun a touching story for anyone who has ever felt alone, different, or powerless?

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The ideas of feeling alone, different, or powerless clearly are found in the play through the various characters. The Younger family as a whole has been made to feel different in the larger society because they are African-Americans during a time when that heritage was often the subject of derision and racial bias. When their new white neighbors want to buy Mama's new house in order to avoid living with them in the same neighborhood, this insult shows how they are viewed in white society. The Youngers often feel different because they are treated as being different by white society. Anyone who has ever experienced the ignorance of prejudice of any kind would understand this family's feelings.

In terms of feeling alone and powerless, Ruth and Walter come to mind. Trapped in poverty even though they work hard each day, they often feel powerless to change their circumstances. Ruth feels alone and desperate when she realizes she is pregnant again, wondering how she and Walter can support another child when they can barely care for the son they have. Walter feels alone and powerless as he struggles to break out of his dead-end job as a chauffeur. Walter feels that his family does not understand the importance of his dreams and his need to find and feel self-respect. His failed attempt to start his own business is born from his need to succeed in life, to become his own man.

As these characters struggle with their own feelings throughout the play, they come to realize that they are not alone or different or powerless. They find their strength lies in each other, and together they move on to a new life. For anyone who has ever shared their feelings, the conclusion of the play is full of hope and validation.