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Shades of Gray - Essay Example

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Name 19 April 2012 Shades of Gray A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, is one of the most influential plays written, that debuted on Broadway in the year 1959. It is based on the life of the Youngers, a family of an African-American descent, and is set in the post World War II era…
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Shades of Gray Essay
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Download file to see previous pages This book is a stark example of how an ordinary black family living in that period in America was restricted from accomplishing their dreams and goals. Therefore, Hansberry tries to explain how race and class make people discriminate and pit them against one another, despite understandin the feelings and emotions the other must be going through, and in this manner, influences people rather darkly. During the course of the film version of the play, one of the characters, Asagai says to another character, Benethea, “You came up to me and you said… ‘Mr. Asagai – I want very much to talk with you. About Africa. You see, Mr. Asagai, I am looking for my identity!’ ” Throughout the play, the various characters try their best to understand their identity, where they come from and what their purpose of life might be. However, they are stopped from finding out these things about themselves because of the whites that dominate them and treat them as mere slaves. Asagai is confused and wants to know why blacks are enslaved as well as treated differently than the whites. This helps the audience to understand how most blacks were (are) innocent, are just like other people, and are yet blamed for things they did not do; young children were treated like dirt and their dreams of a better tomorrow were obscured by the vision of working under white domination right from their childhood days. The play helps in people realising the harsh attitudes and emotions that black people were subject to without little or no fault of their own; they were blamed simply because of their darker skin colour and made to do menial jobs in order to sustain themselves. After watching the play, there have been many people that have commented on the treacherous manner in which blacks have been treated and how the system needs to change for their benefit. Every character within the play faces the the cultural impediments and impact of being subject to ridicule just for being a part of a different race. The mother of the family says, “Them houses they put up for colored in them areas way out all seem to cost twice as much as other houses. I did the best I could.” This dialogue is a perfect example of the kind of discrimination that was faced by each one of them. According to Alexander Laverty, writer of the African File, white supremacy during the 60s was prevalent to such an extent that the blacks were completely segregated in all spheres of all life. They were social recluses without any hope for reformation and racist laws at the time even demarcated different housing and shelter for black people making it difficult for African –Americans to leave the slum areas and even think of leading a better life. This play helps the audience to understand the level of disdain that people belonging to African American families, were living in during the times of the war. It has been an eye opener for all kinds of black people; women that were not given equal status within society and subject to living within the households as housewives, young men that were on the lookout for careers which were very bleak and the despair for just being able to do ordinary ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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