Character change in the play "Raisin in the Sun", written by Lorraine Hansberry

Essay by GlitzandsparklezHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 2003

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Throughout the play Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry, there are many characters that experience life-altering events. However, the future of one's life is dependent on how one changes in order to reflect these experiences. Confucius himself once said, "They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom." In order to be truly happy and wise, one must change themselves in accordance with their environment and encounters on life's path. This theme is clearly addressed in Lorraine Hansberry's play, and change in the characters is an integral part of the plot. We see change, or lack of it, through the three main characters: Lena Younger (Mama), Walter Lee Younger, and Beneatha Younger.

Lena Younger, who is referred to mainly as Mama throughout the play, is a prime example of how the lack of change she shows is a constant variable in her family's background.

Mama's past shaped her and changed her before we meet her, to help make Mama the stabilizing factor in this story of tempestuous emotions; she had to work hard to make for herself the life that she is able to lead, which gave her a good work ethic and strong sense of morality. Mama is a very moral and religious woman, who is the definite head and matriarch of the Younger family. Her lack of change during the few weeks in which the play takes place reveals to the reader what her principles are. Even though both Beneatha and Walter Lee challenge Mama, she is strong in her beliefs and faith in God. She is dead set to take care of her family, and the plant (a symbol of her family), no matter the cost. Her strict adherence to this conviction of hers allows for the other characters to...