Assimilate, this country will never know the true

Assimilate, it means to absorb and integrate people’s ideas, or culture  and change your behavior in accordance with socially accepted conventions. In simpler terms it means to adjust or adapt, in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun the character of Joseph Asagai says “assimilationism is so popular in your country” to which beneatha fervently disagrees and says she isn’t, even though her upbringing and life is molded by it. Earlier Asagai also says beneatha wears mutilated hair well referencing to the fact that she doesnt wear her natural hair and wrecks it in order to conform to the social norm of eurocentric features such as straight hair, skinny nose, lips and blue eyes to name a few. This is a great example of assimilation culture affecting many without them being aware until it is brought to their attention such as with asagai and beneatha. In another instance Beneatha says that “The murchisons are honest to god real live rich colored people, and the only people in the world who are more snobbish than rich white people are rich colored people” this also illustrates how some people no longer see themselves as quote on quote african descendent  or black but elitist, superiors, and most likely don’t have any regard for their culture or history. Beneath says “It’s all a matter of ideas, and god is just one idea i don’t accept.”  In saying this it brings to mind that christianity is not a religion of africa, but rather something that was forced upon slaves and when deprived of their homeland and culture, becoming  the only thing they knew. For example later in the story on when beneath brings up the subject of africa mama says “(Indignantly) Why should i know anything about africa?” bring light to the fact that most African-Americans in this country will never know the true history of their ancestors. Their heritage was lost, destroyed when they were densely packed into slave ships and sold in america, most died and their individual histories did too, and those unlucky, lucky few who survived have had their culture ripped away from them. The main character who worries  of assimilation in this play is beneatha, now educated and seeing the truth for what it is, has been desperately trying to connect with a culture that at this point in time is no longer truly hers and has been erased from her african- american lineage in a social-cultural break. The play truly shows assimilation as a true weakness and although not referenced directly, is seen in the play as hurtful to the character of the colored man. Lorraine Hansberry shows that without this rich history to connect to beneatha feels lost and confused struggling to find where she belongs when her road to the truth and her history has been erased, and it is brought into conflict when she states she doesnt believe in god to her mother, and also when she tries to dance to the tracks in the traditional clothes given by asagai but cannot connect to her distant ancestry,  and goes as far as truly taking into consideration asagai’s offer to go to africa. She feels pain of being unable to connect with her african heritage that is irretrievably lost.

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