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Kitchenette Building Raisin in the Sun

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Megan1997
Words 763
Pages 4
Final Draft In the poem, Kitchenette Building, written by Gwendolyn Brooks, and the stage directions in A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, both authors effectively demonstrate how the use of personification in the setting can create the the idea of dreams. The authors use figurative language to personify the setting into describing how dreams can not come true because of life getting in the way. In the poem, Kitchenette Building, Gwendolyn Brooks describes a run down building that is shared by many people. The reader can infer that the setting of this building is worn out, tired, and unappealing. The building is described as being “grayed in, and gray['d out]” (Brooks, 2). The building itself has not physically worn itself down, but Brooks uses personification to demonstrate how tired and gray the building appears. She uses the color gray to create an image in the reader's mind of a dull and boring building. All signs of life and hope have been sucked out of the building that even “yesterday’s garbage [was] ripening in the hall” (Brooks, 23). The author adds this to show how the building has no sign of life, and there is only ripening trash in an empty hallway. This represents the harsh reality of life, and that dreams do not easily come true while in this lifeless setting. She wants to demonstrate that life has it's ugly obstacles in the way. Not only does she use personification for the building, but Brooks also used it when describing the symbol of a dream. The idea of a dream has many obstacles, such as the ripening trash. The dream also has to “send up through onion fumes... [and] fight with fried potatoes” (Brooks, 4-5). She personifies the dream struggling to get through these everyday obstacles to show how hard dreams became reality in that time period. These dreams that people have are no match for the demands of reality, and most people just “think of lukewarm water, [and] hope to get in” (27). Brooks uses the lukewarm water to represent the neutral tone of living life, and how many people could not even achieve the lukewarm water. Gwendolyn Brooks' use of personification in her poem was very effective in revealing the symbol of dreams.

In the book, A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry includes stage directions in the beginning of the play, which not only sets the illustrates setting, but creates to same aspect of the of dreams as well. Like Brooks, Hansberry uses personification while describing the room to show how dreams are overpowered by life itself. Hansberry describes the room as a worn down place, much like the Kitchenette Building. The furniture is worn down and “the couch upholstry has to fight to show itself” (23). She personifies the couch fighting its way back to life to represent how people lived back then. Many people had to fight their way through life, always working hard. The living room that Hansberry is describing expresses that all the hope is gone in the room. Even the “carpet [shows] its weariness, with depressing uniformity” (23). She continues to use personification of the furniture to show how worn out the objects are from being used so often. The carpet was fighting for too long, and now it's given up and is showing signs of despair. The original hope is gone, just like an old dream. Hansberry includes a description of a single window and “the sole natural light... [that] fights its way in” (24). Like the dream in Brooks' poem, the ray of light represents the dream that has to fight and struggle into this room. Unfortunately, the single light can not light up the entire room. A dream is a single light, and Hansberry describes how the light of dreams fight with darkness of life. Hansberry purposely uses this comparison to demonstrate how dreams are no match for the demands of daily existence. This living room “accommodate[d] the living of too many people for too many years” (24). Too much time has passed since the room was new and full of hopes, and now it seems as if it is too late for those hopes and dreams. Loraine Hansberry definitely uses effective figurative language to connect the idea of dreams the harsh reality of life. Both authors describe the depressing setting by using personification in a way that also reveals an underlying message. The idea that dreams cannot prevail over life's challenges can be clearly inferred by the reader, due to the authors' effectiveness of figurative language.

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