Recently, in my eighth grade English class, we read To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. During our study of the 1930's in Alabama we were assigned to read another book by an African American author. I chose A Raisin the Sun because my mom recommended it. Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun written in 1959 is an intriguing, must read play. This play shows the strength of an African-American family's values and ability to stick together. They face many hard things that shock the reader and the audience including an accidental pregnancy. They battle against harsh prejudice and a system that attempts to keep them from having good opportunities to improve their life. Hansberry does a good job of intertwining family hardships with the individuality of each character. She develops each character personally and carries on his or her traits through out the entire book. The attitude she takes towards the great struggles of a Chicago family, Walter, Ruth, Mama, Beneatha and Travis Younger is convincing because of her tone and description. She shows that life for an African American person at this time is difficult and full of obstacles more challenging than the ones that white people faced. Although A Raisin in the Sun takes place 29 years after To Kill a Mockingbird, African American people are still treated with no respect and are limited in their rights. Both stories constantly demolish African-American families' dreams. Hansberry illustrates through her tone that the family life is rough and the Youngers' are eager for a big change. This action in the plot causes excitement and suspense. As a reader I constantly want the Younger family to over come their challenges and do well in the future. In the same way, In To Kill A Mockingbird I was always hoping that Tom Robinson would be freed. Although there are similarities in the way black people are treated in both books, Lorraine Hansberry as a black author develops her black characters more thoroughly than Harper Lee. Lorraine Hansberry leaves her white characters to roles that are minor. I like this play because it is realistic and shows how strong a family bond is no matter what comes between them. She really showed how the Youngers' were struggling financially but still managed to succeeded all of the obstacles in their way.
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