The Influential Others: "A Raisin in the Sun"Joseph Asagai Character Analysis
It is the course of human nature to idolize or to be influenced by certain individuals or events, however, there are those who compel one irresistibly, and altar one's state of mind, or even personality and character. Joseph Asagai's persistent positive influential behavior develops him into a very charming individual and an important character in Beneatha Younger's life; he symbolizes a savior figure for this fragile, vulnerable, but intelligent young woman. Throughout the play, "A Raisin in the Sun," by Lorraine Hansberry, Asagai's influential behavior is illustrated by his caring devotion to helping others, and his ceaseless pride. During the course of the play, he instills a sense of pride within Beneatha, along with renewing her faith and motivation.
His thoughtful and morally valuable gifts for Beneatha from his trips contrast him to any average American male and these considerate actions leave a great influence on Beneatha.
He brings Beneatha a Nigerian robe and headdress and he notes that she "wears it well...very well...mutilated hair and all."( 61, Act ÃÂ ) He criticizes her straightened hair, which resembles Caucasian hair and persuades her to cut it and keep a more natural, more African look. Because of this comment, Beneatha decides to cut off her hair which displays a newly acquired pride of her background. His simple yet thoughtful decision to bring Beneatha the Nigerian gifts and his short yet very strong criticism both have a great influence on the way Beneatha feels about her background, and changes her perspective of her African heritage. Asagai loves Beneatha for who she is, and helps her fully express her true self; something she craves to do.
Through another very powerful criticism, Joseph Asagai poses a strong influence on...