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A raisin in the Sun Play
My review on Danny Glover's version of "A raisin in the Sun"
The film “A Raisin in the Sun” was set in an era where blacks and whites were living separate lives politically and socially. Blacks were depicted as inferior to that of the whites and worked tirelessly for the whites just to make ends meet as they were barely getting by. Throughout the film, I sympathized with each character individually but more so Walter Lee. The reasons why I felt sympathetic towards Walter was because no one believed in his dreams, he was working a job he despised, and he was scammed.
Walter’s dream was to become a businessman so that he could become successful enough to take care of his whole family without having to worry where the next meal would come from. Each member of his family reacted to his aspirations in different ways. Lena, his mother, didn’t see why Walter was so fixated on money all the time and did not think investing in a business that may or may not get off the ground was the best choice. His wife, Ruth, wished he would be happy and focus on the job he already had and not so much on the business that she also sees as going nowhere. Beneatha just wants to go to college to become a doctor and Walter’s dream seems selfish to her more so because he wants to use their mother’s money to complete his dream. Everyone around Walter appears to be against his dreams and no one seems to see where Walter is coming from. Walter is thinking of his families future whereas they are too busy stuck in the present and looking at the glass half empty as oppose to Walter who is looking at the glass half full.
Walter works as a chauffeur and a doorman. His job was really to be the white man’s “yes man”. Everything that they asked of him he was to do without complaining. He worked these jobs day in and day out getting paid a little amount of money so that he could support his family. Many times he complained about only being seen as the white man’s foot stool. His family didn’t see his point of view all they saw it was as him over exaggerating and complaining. Throughout the film it is abundantly clear that Walter feels as though he is not in the place where he thought he would be when he and Ruth first got married. He’s working a job that he genuinely despises just to keep food on the table and a roof over his family’s head. I found it quite noble of him to continue in this career simply because of the undying love he has for his family.
My sympathy really went to Walter when I found out he was scammed out of six thousand dollars which was considered a lot of money back then. The whole mood of the film changed drastically from a good place where Walter can be seen being genuinely happy and being there for his now pregnant wife to sad and somber. Everyone seemed to resent Walter especially his sister Beneatha whose college tuition was invested by Walter. The only one who stood up for him when Beneatha shouted that he was not a man and no brother of hers was his mother Lena.
At the end of the film we see Walter Lee telling “the man” that he and his family will in fact be moving into Clybourne Park regardless of whether the rest of the white community and the welcoming committee wants them there or not. This can be seen as the first step in Walter becoming a real man. This can also be seen as the first steps of blacks slowly but surely integrating themselves with the whites. Moving to Clybourne Park can be seen as a solution to each individual member of the family. Lena will finally let go of the home that she first shared with her husband and spent more than half her life in. She also gets the garden she always wanted. Ruth will get a place she can call her own and their soon to be offspring will having a room and be able to grow up in not only a good household but a good environment. Walter and Ruth’s son will no longer have to sleep on the couch because he will be getting his own room and a sense of privacy. Beneatha will still go to College to pursue her dreams and she may even get married. Walter has a chance to start over as the head of his family. He also has the opportunity to become the man his family missed and always wanted him to be.
A Raisin in the Sun is a film that is bound to open up the window of how life was back then. It was hard for the blacks to prove themselves not only to their family but to the whites. This film has taught me to not to give up on my dreams and to keep pushing until I break the glass ceiling. It has also taught me that I could go above and beyond to get to a better place in life especially in this day and age.