A Raisin in the Sun & The Death of a Salesman
English 232


Submitted to Mrs. Stewart
Submitted by MacDaniel Young
April 21, 1999
































In Death of a Salesman and A Raisin in the Sun, Authur Miller and Lorraine Hansberry both show interest in the needs and difficulties. By comparing and contrasting the Lomans and the Youngers, outline what those need and difficulties appear to be. Is there a such thing as a perfect family? Does either playwright suggest how this ideal might be accomplished?
Deaths of a Salesman written by Arthur Miller and A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry are two classic dramas’ that tell about the difficulties of family life. Although Miller and Hansberry have totally different plays their works are very much similar. Their works both portray the struggles of trying to get out of not nessarily poverty but out of the lower middle class life.
In Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is a sixty-year old traveling sales man who wants to hold on the past, because he can’t support his family anymore. His firm where he works makes him travel all over the country making sales trips only off commission. During the story, he is always talking to himself and to the ghosts of the past. His wife Linda is the only person who is trying to take care of her husband who is losing his mind. He and his oldest son Biff are at odds, because of the scene in the story where Willy flashes back to the past when Biff discovers Willy on a sales trip in a hotel with another woman, he then has grief with his father for years to come.
Happy Loman, the youngest son is the one in the family who is really the most ignored, but is the one out of the two brothers who believes in his father’s philosophies, but idolizes both Willy and Biff, and always ignores his own lies. He was the son that Willy wanted Biff to become.
Throughout the story Willy reminisces about the happier days when his son admired him. While his wife talks to Biff about helping raise from a former employer for a raise and a non-traveling job. His employer would fail to give him his demands and Willy would be fired. Mean while, Biff could not get the job he went to ask for. At the restaurant where Willy and his sons had planned to celebrate their new start, his sons would leave him their drunk and go off with some girls. When they got home their mother would tell them to get out because of what they had done to their father. Biff attempted to say good-bye to his father, but ended up in an argument getting all of their problems out of the way saying “That his father his built both his own life and the life of his sons on false standards. He also says in a dramatic setting “Pop, I’m nothing! I’m nothing, Pop. Can’t you understand that? There’s no spite in it anymore. I’m just what I am, that’s all. “Then he fell in his dads arms crying, then got up and says that he’ll leave in the morning. As Biff went up stairs, he replied to his wife and his son happy, “He likes me.” Then he said, “He loves you Willy”! As every one went to bed Willy commits suicide so that they could have the insurance money to have a new start.
In the end of the play at the funeral Linda says that on the day of his funeral was their last payment for their house. Biff tries to talk his brother to go west with him, but Happy wants to make Willys’ dream of success come true.

A Raisin in the Sun, takes place in Chicago where the Younger family lives. The story is about the problem of what the family should do with ten thousand dollars that Lena (the mother) receives as an insurance payment after the death of her husband. The money was first a blessing but the family is torn, arguing on how the money should be spent. Lena and her son Walter disagree about what to do with the money. Walter hates his job as a chauffeur and plans to