A review from the New York Times which was written by Anita Gates, and was titled “Race, Family and Pride in a Revived ‘Raisin’” speaks of a production that is riddled with concise and accurate performances, one’s […]
Thus far all that has been presented by Lorraine Hansberry, regarding the play’s aesthetic, lay in the confines of the Youngers’ household. Though the outside world, does sometimes feels at a distance, it non […]
I through the parallels you pointed out between Beneatha and Walter were very interesting. These observations show two people in a situation that they are both looking for a way out of and both in very different ways. Beneatha’s way of getting out of the situation is to try and educate herself through Asagai and improve her own mental state while it seems like Walter wants to tackle his financial situation in order to provide for his family. The emotions displayed by these characters are easy to relate to and are emotions that are present in everyone’s life even though their situation may be different. I believe that within the Younger household there is someone for every reader to relate to and this makes it easier to empathize with the Younger family.
I am beginning to notice the major turning point of this play. At first we are noticing the motivation each person in the house. They are each determined to accomplish something and nothing standing in their way. However, like you addressed about Walter stating, “-He seeks this out in an attempt to regain his masculinity” or explaining Beneatha, “…Beneatha is not proud of her current financial situation, nor, is she proud of her surrounding.” expresses that reality is starting to hit each of the characters in a major way and their determination and will to continue. Both are trying to play the part of proud and confident adults, but they are tripping along the journey. One thing that stood out to me was Beneatha saying “Arriverderci” instead of “goodbye”. Is she trying to sound more intelligent and successful then she really is? Is this facade forcing her to feel lost in her identity? Walter and Beneatha especially are stuck in a uncomfortable position and they are attempting to find a road to find their determine their identity in society. They are attempting to find their voice in both the Younger household as well as in civilization and although there are bumps along the way, neither one is beginning to lose hope, they still have a hard-working mentality and will not quit until they find their identity.
Walter and Beneatha are important character’s of Lorraine Hansberry. Walter is a business man, a father, a son, and a brother. Beneatha is a sister that doesn’t have a clear vision of who she is. “Beneatha is of course in search of this, and searches so with leaving out what she sees as conformity, or rather, assimilation. Asagai stands as a beacon of hope.” Asagai, being an outside influence, gives Beneatha knowledge of heritage that she finds important. Walter’s outside influence comes from a phone call. He sees an opportunity to make better of himself. I can identify myself with Walter for a lot of reasons. He works hard and has a strong mind which adds a lot of potential when dealing with outside influence that Lorraine Hansberry added. Each person in this book has a background. They have history. I think Lorraine Hansberry wanted to send a message and it goes deep into other articles. In the article by Howard Zinn “Or Does it Explode?” in A People’s History of the United States, a line reads “Now it is over. The days of singing freedom songs and the days of combating bullets and billy clubs with love….Love is fragile and gentle and seeks a like response. They used to sing “I Love Everybody” as they ducked bricks and bottles.”
Hey Christian! To jump right into your blog post, I like the way you touched upon Lorraine Hansberry’s use of the “outside influence” as a way to subdue the emotions/actions of these characters… characters such as Walter and Beneatha. While reading your post and understanding what you took out of Act I, scene ii I thought this was a great interpretation of it… or should I say different interpretation of it because of the fact that I for one did not see it that way. So you’ve succeeded in completing the main goal of giving me a new way of looking at this story. To answer your question about identifying with either character… I can personally say yes, with Beneatha. Although after Angel (don’t hold me to this) stressed the fact that this play isn’t for the reader – especially me being hispanic and not black – to compare themselves to the surface problems of these characters… I still feel her when it comes to “finding herself.” Personally, this is still an everyday problem which I myself am battling with, but hey everything eventually falls into place right? … anyways, the characters, as it may seem are trying to cope with life in their own ways, but at the end of the day it’s really for the same reason.
Christian, You picked two good examples that reinforce your points of external influences and the search for identity. I feel throughout the play we see instances of Walter acting out as a way to ease his feelings of inferiority. He takes his anger out on his family and projects his own insecurities on to them like when he says to Ruth ” Cause we all tied up in a race of people that don’t know how to do nothing but moan, pray, and have babies.” While some African Americans during this time may have agree with this sentiment, it is a reflection of his own situation and an attempt to generalize all black people, characterizing them as one dimensional. He feels like he will never live up to his full potential and will never be as affluent as sees other white men are.
Beneatha feels strongly about her identity and has no problem displaying it in front of her family and George. She deals with a lot of resistance because her family has fully assimilated and adopted a ignorant opinion of Africans. George has a reaction similar like Walter when he criticizes her “natural” appearance and says ” Lets face it baby, your heritage is nothing but a bunch of raggedy-assed spirituals and some grass huts.” It is a snide generalization that has no validity but attempts to disparage an entire race of people who culture is complex and way of life is vastly different. George is trying to severe his roots because the collective American perspective views Africa as a primitive society that is one dimensional. I can relate to Beneatha as a character because she is open minded and wants to enrich her and her family’s life with her African records and dances. She wants to exercise her rights as an American and not let societal expectations of being a woman hold her back. There are often repercussions for going against the grain and she feels them acutely.
Christian, you said that Walter is “seeking out an attempt to regain his masculinity” and he wants to “seek strength and control over his existence and over the Younger household” and I agree with your statement, because we see in Act ii how aggressive Walter has gotten over the money that Mama has just inherited. His frustration of not being where he believes he should be has become a burden in his life, as well as taken a toll on his relationship with Ruth. Seeing other young rich men who are around the same age as him has Walter feeling inexpert. Walter wants to seek more for himself because there is a void he needs to fill. His masculinity is being challenged because of the social constructed definition of how the male species is suppose to act and live. I also agree with you that Walter strives to achieve the goals that he has set forth for himself because he needs to feel superior.
With the story of “The Tempest” now finalized, what can we, as readers, extract from chapters four and five? What significant patterns can be traced throughout the text and what developments can one point out in […]
Hey Christian, you mentiond a lot of great points that occurred in this last two acts. You made a statement about Prospero giving Ariel and Caliban their freedom at the end of the play. Yes, I agree that he gave Ariel his freedom but from my interpretation of the play, what happen to Caliban was that he got left on the island because Prospero knew about his plan to go against him.
To answer your first discussion question: I feel like Prospero actions aren’t justified because of the way he went about trying to achieve his power. He only decide to forgive Antonio and Alonso because he was able to gain power another way by Miranda marrying into it.
I think things would be a lot different if Miranda wasn’t marrying Ferdinand and Prospero’s forgiveness movement wouldn’t had began.
I love all of the questions you have asked because I know I would stop myself and attempt to analyze each characters and how they have changed throughout the play. The approach you have made to the conclusion of The Tempest is very interesting. Throughout the entire play, I notice a major change in each character as the acts progress, especially Prospero. Prospero has been under control of the well being for most of the characters in the play. However, in his final monologue, we notice a major change in him. Not only is his dialogue different, but also is attempting to explain to the audience why he did the things he has done as well as ask for forgiveness. Audiences are now questioning Prospero’s true intentions and do no longer trust the character Prospero and might not agree to forgive him.
Hi Christian! The passage points and discussion questions you mentioned pertain so well to the ending of the text. We do in fact see Prospero in a completely different light; for he seems to have made a 180 degree turn. Though Prospero appears cruel and unjust and abuses his power with the use of magic, Prospero does no true real harm and no permanent damage. He is not a evil character; and he proves that further with his actions at the end when he forgives all and relinquishes his power and manipulative nature. But are his actions justified? I do not think so, there are other ways to teach “lessons” without manipulation.
“There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness”- Josh Billings
Christian, you’re questions are certainly something to think about after finish reading the play.
Prospero does point out that Miranda is very fragile and he should not do anything until after marriage. However I only think that he is acting like this because Miranda is very close to him. He wants Ferdinand to be the purest husband, but are Prospero’s intentions pure with the rest?
To answer your first question, I do NOT think Prospero’s actions justified because he still won, and he manipulated everyone else along the way. He still got what he wanted at the end of the day by using Miranda herself.
Since the beginning of the play, I have been keeping and extra close eye on Prospero because at first, I wasn’t sure what to make of him. I thought at first maybe revenge isn’t so bad, because at some point everyone wants it. As the play goes on, I began to notice his thirst for power and how much he desires total control over others to a unhealthy extent. Although I saw a change in him towards the end of the play, I still think that if Miranda and Ferdinand didn’t want to be together, Prospero would not be in such a lovely mood. He would take his power and control and enforce it even more. Luckily, because Miranda and Ferdinand wanted to be together, he becomes a little more lighthearted, which makes him appear as if he is sorry for all that he’s done. I don’t think his actions are justified at all. I think that someone with great power should be able to use it for a greater good, and not use it to manipulate/torture others.
I think yes that Prosperos actions were justified because he did all of these things to everyone including his own daughter. It was very wrong but in the end he does do everyone good and makes up for his previous act. Everyone he hurt is now happy and even his “slaves” were freed. It definitely was something that I would’ve never expected but then again he never seemed to be evil as everyone named him as.
I believe Prospero’s actions are justified if you take into consideration his selfish agenda. I do not agree that Prospero has infact changed or has grown throughout the play. His intentions were very clear from the beginning. He was angry he lost his power and wanted revenge. When they all landed on the island, we can conclude Prospero intentionally had Ferdinand stranded. He also forbid his daughter Miranda to see Ferdinand (she has never seen Man) and she began to desire him. So when Prospero allows their unity it will seem as if he is giving his daughter what she wants, not what he wants. Any way you look at it, Miranda’s marriage into royalty or even just Prospero’s plan panning out the way he wanted it to, he has regained power.
Hello all! My name is Christian Vasquez and I am a Childhood Education major. But aside from this endeavor, I am also majoring in English Literature. Like most of you, and I apologize for generalizing, I am […]