Separation Still Stands

In Act II, Scene iii of A Raisin in the Sun, The Younger’s packing was interrupted by a knock at the door from a middle-aged white man representing the Clybourne Park Improvement Association. He explains to the family that the people of Clybourne Park have prepared an offer that would allow them to move elsewhere into a lower-class neighborhood. This offer was made because the people believed the Youngers’ new presence would destroy their neighborhood which has taken years to build, and all of the current residents are all white, working-class people who did not want anything to threaten the dream “the kind of community they wanted to raise their children in.” (117) As Mama said when she first told her family where she had purchased their new home, she picked the best possible place for her family for the least amount of money she could find.

     When reading this scene, I was reminded several times of current issues with racism in our country, including the campaign for President Trump’s wall. In today’s society, we continue try to keep people who are different from us separate due to fear of unknown. When Linder was speaking to the Younger’s, he referred to them several times as “you people,” (117) treating them like they were a different species than him. In the media today, you see our President referring to people from other countries as nothing more than rapists, drug dealers, and criminals in hopes of trying to convince others to keep them from coming into our country. What is often times are overlooked is simply how amazing of an opportunity we bring in our country to those of less wealth and opportunity from other places. It is easy to put blame on one specific person or group of people for problems that have been made over-time and collectively throughout history.

Linder originally said upon arrival “most of the trouble in this world exists because people don’t sit down and talk to each other,” (116) which the Younger’s also agreed with. Although he completely contradicted his statement by doing the opposite of having a genuine conversation with the family, this still holds true even in today’s society. Instead of being willing to take any credit or blame for issues in our country, we blame many problems on those who have less voice. We struggle to come together and put aside factors as simple as skin color, which continues to divide us more as a country every day. It is important to continue to be aware that opportunities should not vary for each person depending on race or social status.

Are there any other situations you can think of in today’s society that relate attempting to keep people who are “different” separate from each other?

Do you believe the Younger’s made the best decision declining the offer for a different house? Explain why or why not.

13 thoughts on “Separation Still Stands”

  1. I, too, was reminded of Trump’s wall when reading this scene. I think you articulated the problem of which really well- people are afraid of the unknown. The offer made to the Youngers is impeccably similar to what we see in today’s society. People get scared of things that are different, and, in this case, people. It’s insane and truly frightening that this play was written in the 50s and can still be connected to events today. The neighborhood is so desperate to get the Youngers out because they’re afraid of them “destroying” the community, which is almost exactly what Trump, and many American citizens’ mindsets are. It was really clever to relate the two and you did a really good job at arguing how they’re connected.

  2. I was not reminded of Trump’s wall from reading this scene, though I can see the similarities. To me what stood out the most was how Beneatha comments to Mama concerning Lindner, “He said everybody ought to learn how to sit down and hate each other with good Christian fellowship.”(pg. 121) This conversation reminded me of Joyner Lucas’ video called “I’m not Racist” in which a white man wearing a MAGA hat and a black man have a “conversation”. Similar to a Raisin in the Sun, the convo doesn’t really go anywhere in terms of understanding, instead, it highlights the stereotypes held by people in relation to other races. The white man speaks purely off of stereotype and later on, they are debunked by the black man but you can still feel the unequal balance between the two men after it ends.

  3. I didn’t make the connection to Trump’s wall when I first read the scene, but after reading your post I can see the similarities. The thing that bothered me most about the whole scene was when Lindner said “I want you to believe me when I tell you that race prejudice simply doesn’t enter into it. It is a matter of the people of Clybourne Park believing, rightly or wrongly, as I say, that for the happiness of all concerned that our Negro families are happier when they live in their own communities” (118). Firstly, he makes it seem as though not moving into the neighborhood is somehow more beneficial for the Younger family and that is why he is doing this, and secondly, saying it is not a racial issue is painfully false. I think the family’s decision to still move into the neighborhood is a great move.

  4. The connection between the Younger’s situation and Trump right now is very strong. This country is still trying to push people out because of differences. This brings to mind the conversation we had in class the other day about how the time of the play is set “sometime between World War II and the present”. So, even in 2019 this play still makes connections to issues in society. On page 116, Linder says “most of the trouble exists because people just don’t sit down and talk to each other”, this is a very true statement for today just as much as it was in the past (though it doesn’t help that Linder totally contradicts himself after the fact). As a society, we still don’t know how to just communicate rather than fighting. It is one of those things that could fix so many problems, but we still don’t know how to do it. Equality is something that should be granted to everyone, we are all human. For some reason, instinct goes to fighting than being rational and talking. This scene speaks volumes because it shows the true ignorance of people who think like Linder, and the perserverance of the Younger’s to refuse the offer so they can get to a better life.

  5. When I read this, it made me think of the detention camps and everything that Trump is doing to people who are trying to come here for a better life. He is separating families and destroying lives. He is wasting so much energy on people he needs to leave alone instead of using that same energy to help those who are suffering in his country. There are people who are homeless and have no healthy drinking water. He’s too focused on building this stupid wall. I do believe that the Youngers made the right decision declining the offer for the house. I feel like the Youngers agreeing to the house would be the equivalent to a black man taking a plea bargain on a crime he knows he didn’t commit. You’re settling for less than what you know you want and deserve. Mama knew she wanted “a nice house for her and her family” and she isn’t changing her mind.

  6. I think this was a really awesome comparison to make about President Trumps wall. You see it too often in today’s society where people are so quick to judge whether its for your skin color or just because you’re you and being you is not what people are used to seeing. Walter states “cause sometimes it’s hard to the future begin”. (125) I think this quote is so relevant to this scene because they are a family that has decided to move in to a new neighborhood where their color doesn’t exist there. I think there are people out there in today’s society that still haven’t moved on from the past. Times are changing fast and I think people need to wrap their heads around that change could be good. This scene reminded me of the TV show called the Neighbors. Where a white family had moved into a black neighborhood and had to earn everyone’s trust due to the color difference.

  7. In my opinion, I think it was very brave of the Younger’s to decline Lindner’s offer. Walter held his ground and wouldn’t budge when he was pressured. After realizing how Lindner was contradicting himself throughout the conversation, Walter had heard enough. “Never mind how I feel–you got any more to say ’bout how people ought to sit down and talk to each other?… Get out of my house, man”(119). Walter wanted to honor Mama’s wishes and still live in the house that she wanted, despite having someone trying to drive them away.

  8. When I first read Act II, scene iii I never made the connection to Trumps wall, but when I read your blog it really did make me think of how there is a connection between the two. Trump is trying keep people out after making an assumption about them and not really knowing them; he distances himself from them by calling them rapists, drug traffickers, and murderers. I feel like Lindner does the same thing to the Youngers. He never tries to have a real, genuine, conversation and he always refers to them as “you people”. An example of this is when he first comes into the house and says, “Im sure you people must be aware of some of the incidents which have happened in various parts of the city.” (116) He then goes on to say “you people” 4 more times while in the house.

  9. I didn’t make the connection with Trump but now that you do bring him up, I can think of a white supremacy example in this country that also traces back to him. In Charlottesville August 2017 , (mainly) white men gathered together with tiki torches and such while chanting racial slurs against colored and the Jewish community. This was completely a step back in society and the direction we have been trying to go. Trump then confronted the situation by saying, “‘both sides’ were to blame for the violence…and there were ‘fine people on both sides’ of the rally” (USA Today) One woman protesting these horrible chants was killed.
    This reminds me of when Mr. Linder came to the Younger’s home to confront them about how “unhappy” the white people in their new neighborhood are with the thought of African Americans there. A sad reality was when Mr. Linder lost his temper on page 119 saying, “What do you think you are going to gain by moving into a neighborhood where you just aren’t wanted and where some elements- well- people can get awful worked up when they feel that their way of life and everything they’ve ever worked for is threatened.” The Youngers have not even moved into their neighborhood and have already offended their neighbors. It shows how the whites feel superior to them and with African American presence in their neighborhood, they have to “protect” each other as if the Younger’s are planning on doing something awful, when we know they’re not.

  10. I think comparing the section to Trump’s wall is very interesting. I would not have made that connection at first. The line on page 119 that reads “What do you think you are going to gain by moving into a neighborhood where you just aren’t wanted” really supports this. An even more extreme case of the border wall I believe can be seen in Northern Ireland. In towns like Belfast they are “Peace lines” which are really just walls to seperate people with different beliefs. The idea of walls and seperation as a solution is just a temporay answer to people being uncomfortable for a little bit.

  11. I think the younger family ultimately ended up making the correct decision in declining the offer. I firmly believe that you shouldn’t let a fear or prejudice stop you from achieving your goals, and thats what Walter Lee eventually came to realize. Evidence of this is on page 148 when he states the following, “We come from people who have a lot of pride” and that they have decided to move into the house because “My father-he earned it for us brick by brick.” This furthermore shows him realizing that he shouldn’t allow his fears to stop him, by recognizing that life is about risk making, and that your past can help you overcome the fear of these risks. In terms of the want for separation reminding you of trumps wall, in which i agree in, it also reminds me of the ban of transgenders who are willing to join the military.

  12. Lauren,

    You brought up some great points in your blog post! To me, the most imminent situation having to do with keeping people separate comes straight from one of the most powerful men not only in our country, but the world. When a president promotes and intends to follow through on an idea such as building a wall, how can this country grow and try to become stronger as a whole? Every single person in the world is different based on their culture, race, origin, religion, hair color, eye color, height, weight, and anything else imaginable. To judge based on something uncontrollable such as race is barbaric. Inequality will continue to be prevalent as long as people stay ignorant to the issue.

    In A Raisin in The Sun, the Younger’s were joyful about the chance to move out of their old worn down apartment. Just as quick as their excitement came, it left. A man, Karl Lindner, came to their home with an offer to sell the reason for their joy, their recently purchased house, because the white families living there didn’t like the idea of having people amongst them who don’t share a “common background” (118). Just like many people experience on the daily basis, he was judging them based on their race. He said, “Well I don’t understand why you people are reacting this way. What do you think you are going to gain by moving into a neighborhood where you just aren’t wanted and where some elements, well, people can get awful worked up when they feel that their whole way of life and everything they’ve ever worked for is threatened” (119). This statement is horrific. The fact that this family is being tormented simply because of the color of their skin is vile. I believe the Youngers made the right decision to refuse the offer by Lindner, by doing this they are standing up for themselves and for other families in similar situations as they are in.

    -Malley

  13. The Youngers definitely made the right decision to decline Mr. Linder’s offer, because they originally wanted to move out of their apartment anyway and they shouldn’t be swayed by opinions or offers by other people who are trying to divert them from their own set goal or piece of peace. To quote Mr. Linder, “You just can’t force people to change their hearts, son.”(119), even though this quote seemed directed at Walter in regards to future events Walter would do with the money, I think that this quote fits here a lot because it shows that regardless of others actions toward swaying the Younger family, (Linder and Mrs. Johnson), the Youngers are still set on moving in. I really enjoyed this and compared it to your connection to Trump’s wall, because it seems like no matter what arises from the wall and the immigration problems with camps in the country, Trump and the government still seem set on building the wall.

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