Black Families Pushed out of White Neighborhoods.

Currently women and men are being shut out of their homes. Anonymous letters were sent to black renters in an East Coast planned community, much like the plot of A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansbury.

The societal implications that Lorraine Hansbury draws from her characters and the situations they are do not end at racial concerns. No, instead she is able to encompass a dichotomy of issues wholly separate, but not altogether different, from those of race. Without subtlety she pokes and prods the suppositions that Americans allowed to permeate their lives. Initially we see the inability of the lower middle class, because that’s what this family is, despite living close to the poverty line. Much like today, the upper middle class was dying and narrowing, allowing only a marginal amount of people to avoid falling into the lower echelons of it. Struggling, but not faltering, in their attempts to move up and away from the inglorious living conditions that they have become accustomed to, each family member creates plans of escape, pushing through the mental barriers of poverty and the cyclicality of it through sheer will.

The issue of gender is apparent in more subtle ways, as if Hansbury was shaping her early feminist views, but not yet confident enough to allow her work to be completely shaped by them. We see it in all of the women, each of them possessing a different capacity for womanhood. Moving as they all may be, understanding Beneatha’s dreams are the most poignant of all. This is a woman that is capable of learning, educating herself, and holding onto her greatest passion while discovering others. She is competent above all else and above all others around her. But she is disparaged and looked down upon by Walter, when he says, “Who the hell told you you had to be a doctor? If you so crazy ‘bout messing ‘round with sick people — then go be a nurse like other women — or just get married and be quiet… (1.1.125).” Let us, the viewer, understand that Walter is not one man saying this, but nearly every man and many women hold the view that women play a supporting role, one that strengthens the man’s but does not stand on its own. His ideal is that which Hansbury reckons to fight.