Public Values and Private Needs in Machinal and A Raisin in the Sun

Module: Modern American Drama (Level 6)


  • Laura Andrisova


Modern american drama, machinal, a raisin in the sun


The purpose of this essay is to discuss the contrast between the public and private values in America, explored through the analysis of Machinal by Sophie Treadwell, and A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. The first half of the essay argues that women in Twentieth Century America had a life that was not very liberal or opportunistic despite their new-found ability to participate in working life. This is portrayed through the role of The Young Woman, who works at an office yet finds herself entrapped in a life controlled by her boss who becomes her husband. The second half of the discussion diverts to racial segregation during Cold War America. The argument is based on the Youngers, who struggle to escape the chaos of racial violence by experiencing the discrimination of housing covenants.

Author Biography

Laura Andrisova

Laura Andrisova is a final-year student on the English Literature Degree course at Leeds Beckett University. She has a particular interest in Eighteenth-Century Literature and the historical portrayal of gender inequality. Her favourite works include Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and Oranges are not the only fruit by Jeanette Winterson. Laura also enjoys reading poetry, particularly that of William Wordsworth. She is passionate about exercise, and often enjoys bodybuilding and running outside of her current employment within the NHS.