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A Raisin In The Sun And The Fight For Masculinity

6 Pages 1442 Words

In the world today, there has been no society found where women dominate over males (Stearns 14). Civilization’s entire history has been based upon masculine traits and how they affect society. Some say this may be because the fertility of women was always put in such high esteem by early religions. Men may have been driven to superiority by the constant feeling that they were inferior (Stearns 15). Regardless of the reason, in almost every society, men make an undying effort to show their masculinity and superiority over their peers. Where there is a void of this masculinity, a man may feel second rate and there is a need to fill that void. In The play A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, Walter Lee Younger feels just that. Walter Lee’s desperate dream of the liquor store is fueled by his need to feel a sense of honor, ideal manhood and resisting regression to his mother.
Walter desperately wants to buy a liquor store because it would leave him with a sense of honor. In this sense, honor is “being good at being a man”. He yearns for support from his family, and dislikes the way in which they live. In the play, Walter pleads with his family for support and states, “…I got me a dream” (Hansberry 33.) Men need to pursue the breadwinning role in the family as a measure of their manhood according to Mediterranean ideals (Gilmore 43). In the Younger household, Mama always had control of the finances, in fact, she had control over everything in the house. This leaves Walter feeling inadequacy toward being a man because he can’t support his wife and child, which is a major component of a man’s honor (Gilmore 43). The major way to support one’s family is through making money. One more element of the Mediterranean manhood is that the only direct way to support his children is through making money (Gilmore 44). Walter sees his job as a chauffeur as, for one, degrading, and not a way to make the money he...

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