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Raisin in the Sun Essay

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Lorraine Hansberry in her play, “Raisin in the Sun”, attempted to explain the feelings of the average African American Male in the 1940s. This persona, which is portrayed in the character Walter, had experienced a severe feeling of depression and hopelessness. In order to understand this source of grievance, one must relate back to the Great Migration and the dreams it promised and the reasons why many African Americans sought to move to the North. A desire to achieve freedom from racial injustices and poverty was the prime factor that encouraged Blacks to abandon the south. However, these dreams where soon crushed as African American noticed that Northern whites had still maintained unequal segregation and where as stumbling block to Black advancement. The consequences of a “dream deferred”, as Langston Hughes called it, was dependency on others, alcohol addiction, as well as dysfunctional families.
The Great Migration, which lasted from 1910 to 1930, was the first mass movement of African Americans from the South to the North. There was one main factor that led to new job opportunities which attracted many African Americans to industrialized cites in the North. The occurrence of World War I in Europe had increased U.S. factories and factory productions as European nations, involved in the war, depended on the United States to replenish their supplies. Likewise, the war decreased laborers in the United States as it abridged the migration of many European immigrants to the U.S. as well as toke many citizens as soldiers which caused a massive vacancy in the work field. Philip Bonner, from the University of the Witwatersrand, explained this phenomena as he said, “It was only the outbreak of the first World War cutting off the flo...


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...hol abuse worked as a catalyst to further ruin African Americans and destroyed their families.
A black mark in America History was the persecution and discrimination of African Americans. The dreams of freedom from racial discrimination and hopes of attaining promising job opportunities were futile and the Great Migration was just the relocation of Blacks to further segregation and racial injustices. Limitations of good paying jobs as well as excessive rent prices compelled most African Americans to abandon all hope of raising their financial and social status. Walter Younger was a true depiction of a defeated Black man who unsatisfied with his life sought redemption through consuming alcohol. Depression and lack of hope were the two ingredients that led to the failure of African American marriages and the conversion of optimistic men into vagabonds.





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