Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

March 07, 2004

A Raisin in the Sun

I went to see A Raisin in the Sun tonight at Krannert Center since our friend Nate Davis was in it. He did a great job getting his tongue around a Nigerian accent to play the role of Joseph Asagai. He had this great speech where he was explaining his life goals and how he fit into the cycle of social progress and he got REALLY loud for this emphasizing part, and I felt it. It was powerful. And really loud. He can really carry his voice.

The acting was very compelling and involving and very cleanly executed, and I could feel the audience holding their breath in a couple parts because it was so intense, but I was most taken by Lorraine Hansberry, the writer of the play. It's an amazing play. It was amazing when she wrote it in 1959, so much greater and truer and more respectful than other depictions of African Americans in theatre at the time (according to the little introduction in the program, and from what little I know about it, that's true) and it's still amazing today. There are great life lessons all over the place, and such true depictions of family dynamics. And I just agonized over the griefs that the characters carried, and hoped with them, and thank goodness there's a happy ending. I can't take another Lord of the Rings kind of ending. I read the book in school, and saw the movie several times, but that was a long time ago, and I didn't really remember the storyline, so I was on the edge of my seat until things were resolved at the end. It's such an intimate portrayal of life too, I felt by the end that I knew them all, having lived with them in their house for several weeks. Watching them make scrambled eggs and do the ironing and all.

The life lesson that really hit home for me was the great climax at the end when Walter looks at his son and realizes that he has to see beyond his own unbearable pain and he finds a reason to connect to the world again because he has to show his son how to be by his own example. And so he doesn't sell their house to 'the man' that wants to buy it out from under them so they won't move into his white neighborhood. Instead, as his sister says, he became the man and did the right thing. And that turnaround gives all the other characters hope for the future, that their dreams will be able to grow, "a struggle inextricably linked to to the more fundamental dream of realizing equality in America" (from the Krannert Center Program Notes).

How that translates for me is that I need to see how I'm doing in the following of dreams to make sure that my daughters know that it is rewarding for women to work really hard and strive in their education and that they can also strive to be mothers and that those are not contradictory goals. You can be a mother and do other things, have other jobs that fulfill you too. You don't have to pick one or the other. And your education can serve both. I'll have to try and forward that goal as much as one person can, for their sakes as well as mine.

Posted by Bahiyyih at March 7, 2004 12:23 AM

I so hope I get to see this play, but the next few weeks leading to graduation are gonna be tough, so I'm not sure I can. It's great to hear about it, though. But, Miss Bahiyyih! The Lord of the Rings thing: Frodo couldn't get better as long as he stayed in the Shire, but as he was getting on the boat to go away with the elf-folk, didn't you see him light up and glow? He had to progress to the next level (Abha Kingdom, yes?) in order to heal. There are some wounds that can't be healed until we go home to God -- to me that's what the undying reality of the elves represents. I think we all start out as hobbits, mostly concerned with our elevenses and other yummy treats, but hopefully we progress, though great pain and trials, to being more. Since Frodo bore the most pain, he progressed as far as he could in the earthly sense. Then it was time to leave. He even says to Sam that Sam has to stay "for a while." But we know Sam will eventually move on next. The other two, Merry and Pip, might take longer, but it's the journey that counts, not the timetable, right? Does anyone else see these films in spiritual/metaphorical terms, or am I way out on a limb here?

Posted by: Amy Eades at March 7, 2004 11:29 PM

Bahiyyih - I am glad that you liked "A Raisin in the Sun"! I really enjoyed it as well, and I was happy to remain open during it, since the ending was the right thing to do!

Amy - you've given me something to think about regarding the Lord of the Rings, but I am still sad about it. The elves are gone from Middle Earth, and that is sad. :(

Bahiyyih - have a fun time at Nana's!



Posted by: lizzy at March 9, 2004 11:00 AM