A Raisin in the Sun(shine)

Act III of “A Raisin in the Sun” has a lot going on as we finish up the play. The scene starts off with Beneatha being surprised by the visit of Asagai. Asagai tries to convince Beneatha of living a better life in Africa with him where they won’t have to worry about integration (a side note: Beneatha had mentioned earlier in the play she might not marry one day but after this proposal she starts to take it seriously). Similarly, Mr. Linder who we later see pop up in this scene, wants to pay the Younger’s back their money for the home they purchased in Clybourne Park so they don’t integrate into his “white” neighborhood. Asagai and Mr. Linder both want to keep their cultural identity alive. Asagai has no interest in fitting in an American white society where in Nigeria he can thrive and live a fulfilled life with no discrimination. Mr. Linder and his neighborhood feel they have worked long and hard to make their neighborhood what it is and an African American family moving into it “takes away” everything they’ve worked for.

When Act III begins, they mention how dark the setting is (like the first act) and how all the optimism had vanished. Beneatha goes into detail on the moment she decided she wanted to become a doctor, “…And I remember standing there looking at his bloody open face thinking that was the end of Rufus. But the ambulance came and they took him to the hospital and they fixed the broken bones and they sewed it all up…and the next time I saw Rufus he just had a little line down the middle of his face…I never got over that…” (132-133) This scene reminded me when Walter was ranting to Travis about his dreams for him and his family once Mama gave him money. It all seemed too good to be true and that’s exactly how Beneatha felt. She had a dream to become a doctor and solely depended on her fathers money to make it happen. With the loss of his money it felt like the loss of her dreams of helping people as well.

Before the play even begins, there is a poem by Langston Hughes called “A Dream Deferred” about dreams not becoming reality. On page 143, Beneatha and the whole family is still in shock, as well as disappointment at the loss of their father’s money thanks to Walters impulsive investment. Walter informs them how he is going to get the money back in full from Mr. Linder leaving Beneatha to sadly say, “Well- we are dead now. All the talk about dreams and sunlight that goes on in the house. It’s all dead now.” (143) This immediately made me think of the poem and how they all might feel like a raisin in the sun. The dreams they aspired and excitement they had after receiving the $10,000 check vanished. They had hit absolute rock bottom. They were going to have to unpack all the packages they packed away for their new, bigger and hopeful home. Beneatha wasn’t going to be able to get the education she needed. The days of living in a tight, uncomfortable space with a baby on the way and their futures uncertain would continue.

Lastly, we see a huge step forward for Walter. We are used to seeing Walter beg and want to be the man of the house but he had no capability of doing so. We continue thinking this until he invites Mr. Linder over and confronts him by saying, “And we have decided to move into our house because my father- my father- he earned it for us brick by brick.” (148) He gives this “show” in front of his whole family to prove he is going to take control of this family and do them right for now on. He embraces the pride he has for his family, even mentioning how Beneatha is going to be a doctor although doubting it the entire play. He admires how ambitious and hardworking they all are. I felt it was very important for Travis to be there and see his father take this lead to help him keep the pride of the generations going. Also it would motivate Travis to take the same role as his father one day. It ends on a hopeful note, the mood is lightened and it feels like they made the best decision for their family.

Discussion Questions:

Do you see any other examples that relate to the poem “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes in this act?

What do you think happened to the Younger’s next? Do you think their lives turned out how they hoped?

12 thoughts on “A Raisin in the Sun(shine)”

  1. Hi Bella, I thought you did a very good job analyzing this scene and explaining its underlying meanings. I think that after the play ends, the Younger’s most likely faced adversity when they arrived in Clybourne Park. The residents there most likely didn’t appreciate the Younger’s refusing their collective offer to pay them more money than the house itself. Despite my feeling that they would face discrimination in their new living situation, I do think that they will ultimately be happy with their decision and be happy with their lives. In the end, they will all have each other. Like Mama said, “There is always something left to love” (145). They will always love each other and will be able to overcome any adversity together.

    1. Hi Bella, I agree with Owen with saying you did a good job analyzing this scene what is going on with each of the characters by the end of the play and how it all relates back to the beginning of the play. I personally found it interesting on how at the beginning of the play Beneatha didn’t seem to care about the money much but now that it is gone shes acting so down. I found it interesting on how the point was made was that money wasn’t anyone’s money besides the fathers and that nobody really worked themselves for that money. This was the first scene that I didn’t have a dislike for Walter. When he was actually trying to figure out a decision that not only would benefit him but would benefit his whole family. “Well what I mean is that we come from people who had a lot of pride. I mean we are very proud people. And that’s my sister over there and shes going to be a doctor and we are very proud”. Here is the first time we see Walter actually talking positive about his sister and her schooling and believing that she could become a doctor. Again I really enjoyed reading your blog post! Great job!

  2. Hi Bella!
    I like, and agree with your comment about Asagai and Mr. Lindner both wanting to “keep their cultural identity alive.” That’s a very insightful way to look at both of those characters, and draw similarities between the two of them, which I never would have thought to do. I feel as if the Younger family will continue on to have a life full of hardships, however they will hand these hardships with pride. At the end of the scene, while talking to Mr. Lindner, Walter says “Well what I mean is that we
    come from people who had a lot of pride. I mean we are very proud people. And that’s my sister over there and she’s going to be a doctor and we are very proud”(148). He is finally embracing his family with pride, and hopefulness. Walter is a traditionally pessimistic character, and for the first time, he feels hopeful towards his family, and their future. In my ideal ending, Beneatha will marry Asagai, and move to Nigeria with him to fulfill her dreams. Often times, Beneatha was made fun of for her strong desire to become a doctor, but hearing the story of what inspired her to want to do so made her dream feel more realistic to me. “That that was what one person could do for another, fix him up sew up the problem, make him all right again. That was the most marvelous thing in the world … I wanted to do that. I always thought it was the one concrete thing in the world that a human being could do. Fix up the sick, you know and make them whole again. This was truly being God . . .”(133). As the reader, we have insight on Beneatha, and her previous relationship with God, and what God means to her. I hope that Beneatha fulfills her dreams, Walter embraces his newly gained pride and manhood, and that he finally gets Ruth the pearls she deserves. I wish that Mama lives her life to the fullest, and indulges in her garden. I also hope that Ruth has the baby, and that the child rekindles the love of Ruth and Walter. Finally, I hope that Travis is able to achieve all of his dreams, and live the life that Walter wishes upon him. I think that the Younger family is strong, and hardworking, and will overcome any challenge that they are faced with. The Younger family will hopefully have a happy ending, “like a rain- bow after the rain . . .”(151).

  3. Hi Bella, I agree with Owen with saying you did a good job analyzing this scene what is going on with each of the characters by the end of the play and how it all relates back to the beginning of the play. I personally found it interesting on how at the beginning of the play Beneatha didn’t seem to care about the money much but now that it is gone shes acting so down. I found it interesting on how the point was made was that money wasn’t anyone’s money besides the fathers and that nobody really worked themselves for that money. This was the first scene that I didn’t have a dislike for Walter. When he was actually trying to figure out a decision that not only would benefit him but would benefit his whole family. “Well what I mean is that we come from people who had a lot of pride. I mean we are very proud people. And that’s my sister over there and shes going to be a doctor and we are very proud”. Here is the first time we see Walter actually talking positive about his sister and her schooling and believing that she could become a doctor. Again I really enjoyed reading your blog post! Great job!

  4. Hi bella! I thought the way you connected everything and shed light on all the meanings was amazing especially with the poem “A Dream Deferred”. Unfortunately, with the question you presented about what happened to the Youngers next, I feel like it wasn’t a pleasant experience. I think they probably got to their new home and no one looked at them or gave them the time of day; on page (149) Linder says “I sure hope you people know what you’re getting into.” This quote scared me the most because I feel like something bad could happen to them. To address the second part of the question I do feel like their lives turned out the way they wanted for the most part. They got their new home in a better area regardless of moving into a “white” neighborhood. Even if their neighbors ignore them they have each other and that means the most.

  5. Hello Bella,
    This post presented ultimately shows a great overall analyzation of the characters from beginning to the end of the play. The two characters that I agree the most on in this aspect is, Asagai and Mr. Linder with wanting to keep their cultural identity alive. When it came to one character that changed, I would say that Walter transformed into a man who cared about his family. His pride wasn’t altered especially by his statement that “well what I mean is that we come from people who had a lot of pride. I mean we are very proud people. And that’s my sister over there she is going to be a doctor and we are very proud” (148). I loved the character that he becomes, by turning his pride into pride to benefit his family; I hope that he continues to help his family especially with an unwelcoming neighborhood. I believe for the Youngers future it depends on the unity of the community as well as, the hard work conducted by Walter and future financial security for the family. But in all with Mama’s understanding and wisdom I think that the family would be just fine.

  6. Hi Bella, Great blog. I really love how you analyzed the last act. After the play ends, I believe the Youngers will experience a bit of trouble with diversity. Yes, they moved into their new home but they weren’t very welcomed by the Clybourne Park residents. They will have to make do with being the only black family in the community. As in Act Two, Scene 3; Mr.Linder tells the Younger family that the community has raised enough money to buy out their house and then some. I believe the Younger family is being strong-willed and with a large amount of love in their family, they can pursue anything. As momma states, “There is always something left to love”(145).

  7. I really like the way you analyzed the last Act of the play. It really helped describe how each character was feeling at the end of the play. I don’t think the Younger family will be welcomed in their new community with open arms. As Mr. Linder said on page 149, “I sure hope you people know what you’re getting into.” I think the family will have troubles in their new community but it was ultimately the best decision for the family to make. I believe that if they didn’t move it would have been something they would have regretted and tensions between the family would have continued to rise. Relationships between the family members would have been broken and they would have felt worse about not moving than they most likely will feel about the potential treatment they are about to face in their new community.

  8. Hi Bella! I loved your idea about Asagi and Mr. Linder. I love how you connected Asagi’s desire to go back to Africa where he is not facing discrimination and Mr. Linder’s desperate need to have his perfect neighborhood. I do think that the Youngers still moved into the home. Part of me feels like they had to struggle, especially considering where they were in terms of the year. They had people discriminating against them extremely and they may have been threatened or something. Regardless, Mama said, “I just tried to find the nicest place for the least amount of money for my family.” (93) Mama wanted nothing more but this home and that is what she got. The family now has a very good feeling about the new beginning they are about to embark. A new chapter has opened and they are ready for it.

  9. Hey, Bella!! I love the way you compared and contrasted Asagi and Mr. Linder! I did not even think of that! I think that the Youngers will definitely have to face the hardships of racism and discrimination not only from the residents of Clybourne Park but also from other white families from other communities, that feel threatened by a black family moving into a quote on quote “white neighborhood”. Upon hearing that the Youngers would be moving into the new neighborhood, Mr. Lindner did not accept the reality of the situation but instead continues to try and convince the family that they would be better off accepting the money and moving somewhere else. “Then I would like to appeal to you, Mrs. Younger. You are older and wiser and understand things better I am sure…” (148). I believe that even after the Youngers move into Clybourne Park, the convincing will not end, and they will deal with the everyday struggle of being outcasts. However, in a more positive light, I also think that this will be a better suitable place for Travis and his new baby sibling to grow up, as there is more room and space to learn and grow. I think that the family knows the move is not going to be easy, but the fact that they are willing to move to make a better life for themselves shows that they will not give up without a fight.

  10. In Act III of “A Raisin in the Sun” the final Act takes a weird twist. The Act takes on a more dark, grey feel. After Walter had lost all the money that mama had finally trusted him with, Act III had revolved around the decision of Walter losing all of family’s money. For a family that portrays that money Isn’t everything Beneatha moods had a drastic change. Beneatha doesn’t know if she wants to be a doctor anymore, she no longer believes she can help people. She had also lost all hope in African American equal rights. I love that you made the comparison of a too good to be true ending. Beneatha had put such a front that money didn’t matter but in the end she had relied all on the money to become a doctor. I Personally think that the Youngers can get through anything. I think the family is ready for a change and ready for the fight of acceptance of others and equal rights among all African Americans. I think they all strongly feel the same way and I think by doing this they are making a statement of I don’t care who they are or what race they are, I’m moving there because its our life and we aren’t going to let ones opinion affect ours. Walter states “Yeah. Well-what I mean is that we come from people who have a lot of pride”(Pg.148). This shows that no matter what people think of them or what people want them to do, They are gonna do what they want o do because they have a right to and they aren’t backing down from anyone. I think they end up living their best lives possible.

  11. Hi Bella! I love how you point out the connection between this act and the original poem, especially with the symbolism of sunlight in the poem (meaning harsh, rotting, left out too long), and in the play (hope, dreams, freedom). I’m not sure I agree with the parallel between Asagai and Mr. Linder; I think painting them both with the same brush of keeping their cultural identity alive could’ve better worked as a contrast (Mr. Linder being afraid of a perceived threat to his community despite being the one in power, vs. Asagai who comes from a country where literacy is rare and mentions “Guns, murder, revolution” (pg. 137)).
    When I think of the poem I also think of the word deferred, and how that ties into the recurring inter-generational conflict in the story. Characters like Mama had their own hopes and dreams for themselves and later their children, but are disappointed when their children have different dreams. That also partly ties into Walter’s reaction when his son says he wants to be a bus driver.

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