Among all the genres of literature, the play genre is the most fascinating. Aristotle seems to agree with this argument because he considers the play genre to be the highest form of literature. Aristotle presents certain yardsticks that qualify plays to be tragedies…
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According to Miller (32), tragedy involves common people, not necessarily heroes. A “Raisin in the Sun” satisfies the requisites that Miller suggests. For example, in the play, the tragic hero appears to be normal, he does not have any superior qualities that would differentiate him from other characters in the play. Lorraine Hansberry creates common people who experience similar problems to people in the real world. The entire Younger family lives a poor lifestyle and only hopes for a better life than their current one in future. This is evident from the plant that Mama keeps in the play. This plant appears to symbolize the lack of direction that this family has. It has half a life and it grows in all directions that appear to have light (Hansberry 48).
Lorraine Hansberry’s play “A Raisin in the Sun” presents the younger family that has struggles with acceptance throughout the play. She creates the title of this play from Langston Hughes’ poem “Harlem”. Throughout the play, Lorraine Hansberry struggles to make her audience understand the challenges faced by the Younger family in their rented ghetto apartment (Rorty 29). Each member of the family seems to have intense issues that he /she must address to avoid conflicts within their families. For example, the tragic hero in this play wishes to head the family after their father dies. Walter Lee feels emasculated probably because of the presence of several women in his life. His mother controls all the cash that flows to this family, making the tragic hero to question his role as a man in the Younger household (Hansberry 42). Aristotle focuses on the element of Harmatia in tragic plays. He also suggests that the ideal tragic play must involve catharsis. This implies that the readership of the respective play must connect with the characters by sympathizing. Aristotle also seems to indicate that successful tragic plays should reveals extremely sympathetic situations for their respective protagonists. This facilitates a quick purging of emotions that must be present for the success of a tragic plays. In his definition of tragedy Aristotle suggests that perfect tragic heroes must experience serious loses in their lives. For example, a tragic hero must fall from a high ranking to an extremely low one. The tragedy is implied in the fall that the hero experiences. Normally in all these tragedies, the fall is a punishment to the hero who disrespects either the gods or fundamental rules of society (NYTC 3). Critics Some critics disagree on the perfection of “A Raisin in the sun” as a perfect tragedy. The reasons attributable to these allegations are the evident differences between this play and Shakespeare plays whose strategic heroes were always superior and could never compare to the common person as Lorraine Hansberry does in this play (Hansberry 46). Other critics argue that in this, there are intense elements of positivity that should not be in tragedies. There could be certain sad scenes but when the play ends, the Younger family has resolved almost all of their issues. Mama cannot forget the flower because of the extreme that it suggests for the family. According to these critics, this play cannot be tragic because there are no major loses to the Younger family that Lorraine Hansberry highlights. The final category of critics suggests that the characters in this play do not have any flaws. Ideally, characters in tragedies must have flaws that make characters commit regrettable
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