Staging Difference: Cultural Pluralism in American Theatre and Drama

By Marc Maufort | Go to book overview
suggesting an expected reverence toward him to which the rest of the family responds. Both mother, as family elder, and father, as ancestor, create tension for their offspring. Beneatha, in spite of her own thoughts about God and the achievements of man, painfully submits but refuses to acquiesce to her mother's beliefs in Act I. Walter Lee, the eldest of the two, replaces his spiritual home-training for the material requisite for achieving the American Dream--money--at the expense of his family's well-being, disrespecting his wife's pregnancy and the spiritual connection new life provides in the process ( Raisin67-75). Indeed, the powerful resolution of the drama occurs when Walter caught in his own internal trap of double-consciousness must finally acknowledge and pay homage to the spiritual foundation he received from his family, his father in particular ( Raisin141-148). The depth of Walter's despair is felt by all; the force of Core values, witnessed by three Younger generations, is no more clearly evident in Walter Lee. The impact of A Raisin in the Sun--and many other works--depends, in part, on the attention paid to Black Core values in African American performance.
Works Cited
Abramson Doris. Negro Playwrights in the American Theatre, 1925-1959. New York: Columbia UP, 1969.
Baraka Amiri. "A Critical Reevaluation: A Raisin in the Sun's Enduring Passion." A Raisin in the Sun, Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition and The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window. 9-20.
Bigsby C. W. E. Confrontation and Commitment: A Study of Contemporary American Drama, 1959-1966. London: MacGibbon and Kee, 1967.
Carter Steven R. Hansberry's Drama: Commitment amid Complexity. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1991.
Cruse Harold. "Replay on a Black Crisis: Harold Cruse Looks Back on Art and Politics in Harlem." Negro Digest November 1968: 19-25, 65-69.
DuBois William Edward Burghardt. The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches. 1903. New York: Fawcett, 1961.
Franklin John Hope, and Alfred A. Moss Jr. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988.
Hamalian Leo, and James V. Hatch, ed. The Roots of African American Drama: An Anthology of Early Plays, 1958-1938. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1991.
Hansberry Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition and The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window. Ed. Robert Nemiroff. New York: New American Library, 1987.
_____. "Playwright." Interview with E. B. White. The New Yorker 9 May 1959: 33-35.

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