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Oppression and Racism

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Plays have long been used to reveal the negative aspects of the society and dramatist have the power of demonstration which no other form of literature grants. This power is used by playwrights to depict social problems that prevail in the society and make society acquainted to the unjust treatment of the underprivileged. Even if the plays are aimed at the describing a social issue, they are very good at depicting the mentality of residents of the society. They show how people think and in this way plays have preserved history.  

Racial prejudice and oppression of weak are the main themes discussed in Othello and A raisin in the sun. Both the plays discuss the how the social issue affects people and how they people respond to these problems. The plays also elucidate on the fact that these problems were perceived differently by different factions of the society.

A Raisin in the Sun

A raisin in the sun is the story of an African American family that is about to receive a hefty sum of money as a result of the passing away of head of the family. The young family is facing trouble thinking how to spend the money as each member is thinking of spending it according to his ideas. The wife of Mr. Young wanted to buy a house and her son wanted to invest the money in a business with his friends. In the play the family members are trying to compete with one another on their own ways of spending the money. Everyone thinks that his or her idea is good and it is the only solution to the problems of the family. Mr. Young’s daughter feels differently about the whole situation and so does the daughter in law of Mr. Young. The end of the play is marked by some uncertainty as family members move to another house, but they are optimistic about their situation and feel that they will be able to improve their standard of living in the near future.  

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The play depicts the common issues of an average black household of the country, where there are many issues. The play touches on many elements like racial prejudice and the immaturity of young people. The actual point of the play is that people of different ages feel differently about an issue. All of the family members were innocent in their intentions and they wanted to improve their living standard.

The racial prejudice that the Young family face when they decide to go and live in a white colony is also an issue that is raised in the play. The character of Walter, Mr. Young’s son, is seen as an inspiration of black man who tries to overcome the prejudicial behavior against him and his family, and the whole family refuses to stay away from the white colony (Hickling, A. 2010). Walter says in the play “We have decided to move into our house because my father—my father—he earned it for us brick by brick. We don’t want to make no trouble for nobody or fight no causes, and we will try to be good neighbor”. (Act II, scene iii).This was the situation in the 50’s and 60’s. The play portrays harsh realities of our so called developed society. The family shows some strength against the social forces of the country and they do not succumb to the pressure of social pressure. Hope is the main theme of the play and this attitude of characters gives hope to our society.

Othello is one of the most famous plays in English literature. The plot of the play is so strong that it mesmerizes readers and audiences. The story is about a man who fall victim to a plot against him. The race of the main character Othello is the main reason for his victimization and it portrays the jealousy of people towards the achievement of black people.

In a white dominated society, a black man always suffers. Even if he gains a respectable position in the society he is looked down upon by people and the act is sometimes turned into a fierce feeling of jealousy. The villain Lago said in the play “an old black ram / is topping your white ewe” (Act %u04C0 scene %u04C0). This shows the hatred of the people towards black people of the society.

Both the plays have many similarities. Both center on oppression and racial prejudice. Lives of common people are depicted in a raisin in the sun and a life of a general and noble man is portrayed in Othello, but the scenario is the same and the victimization of people on the basis of race is same. In a raisin in the sun many themes are presented and focus is more on the survival of an average family, but in Othello the focus is on black people and prejudice against them.

The theme developed in both the plays is in line with the social problem present in those days. The problem of racial prejudice exists still today and the people still today suffer from oppression from the privileged people of society. The stories are developed in both the plays in order to increase the importance of the issue. It can be safely stated that the plays were written with a purpose and that was to explore and depict the problem s of society.

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