In the realistic fiction novel Dear Martin by Nic Stone and fictional play A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, readers are encouraged to await the “end” of their novel. Stone reveals the impact police brutality has on a bright African American teen, Justyce McAllister through internal conflict and motifs of pain and memory. The encounter Justyce has with the police makes the character doubt his society and his own identity. Hansberry similarly addresses the issues that Youngers face with society through dialogue and generational conflict.
However, the Younger family experiences the extreme end of the racism spectrum, whereas Justyce doesn’t face racism at every step in his life. Stone inspires readers to be awaiting the “end” of Dear Martin through the use of relatability. On the other hand, Hansberry provokes curiosity within the reader through the use of familial and financial struggles; along with inequality and racial profiling.
Stone promotes interest through relatable conflicts and thought-provoking dialect. The book starts with the police officer saying “I know your kind: punks like you wonder the streets of nice neighborhoods searching for prey” (Stone 8).
The incident demonstrates police brutality, a common phenomenon in our time period. Stone also introduces the theme of racial profiling within the first few pages of the book, allowing the reader to acknowledge the main conflicts throughout the rest of the novel. Introducing the main conflicts in the beginning of a novel engages the readers to predict the outcomes of the problems at the end of the book.
The incident with the police officer triggers Justyce to find his identity in a hostile environment. Justyce emphasizes that he is “trying to climb a mountain, but one fool is trying to shove [Jus] down so he won’t be on his level, and another fool tugging at [Jus’] leg, trying to pull it to the ground he refuses to leave. “ (Stone 66).
The simile compares Justyce to an unreachable goal and desire. The quote demonstrates competition within society and provokes curiosity within the reader due to the unwanted two-way competition. Jus starts questioning his identity when he asks MLK “So what do I do now? How do I handle people like Jared? Arguing obviously won’t work…Do I just ignore him? But what does that solve Martin?” (Stone 38). The rhetorical questions causes readers to think about the question, which creates an anxious mood. Additionally, the questions build tension, causing the readers to wait for some sort of answer at the end of the novel.
The struggle to find one’s identity engages readers and provokes anticipation for the conclusion of a novel. Justyce finds himself in a situation where everyone questions his abilities. For example, Jared states that no matter what college he goes to, when he sees a minority “[he is] gonna wonder if they’re qualified to be there” (Stone 64). The statement causes Jus to question whether he was accepted into Yale due to his achievement or identity. Jared’s characterization on those of color is hypocritical due to his previous statement about American being “colorblind”. Justyce’s self conflict allows the readers to empathize with the character and look forward to the end due to the reliability of trying to find one’s identity.
Hansberry encourages readers to await the end of the novel through familial and financial struggles. There are many conflicts that occur within the Younger family; Walter claims that he’s “a grown man,” however, Mamma counters by saying “ain’t nobody said you wasn’t grown… now sit down” (Hansberry 71). The dialogue used symbolizes that the authority in the house lies with Mamma while also indircetly characterizing Walter as incapable of dominant force. Hansberry familiarizes her audience to regular bickering that takes place in every household, and therefore compels readers to sympathize along with the Younger family. Mamma and Walter have another disagreement where Mamma states “oh—so now it’s life. Money is life.” (Hansberry 74).
Hansberry directly characterizes money as a necessity. Walter and Mamma have differing viewpoints as to what makes a person “successful”. The ideological differences between the characters established by the author creates intensity and tension, engrossing the reader into the novel. Additionally, the differing viewpoints between the Youngers keeps the audience guessing as to how the characters might evolve throughout the book and their endpoint. In the beginning of the book Mamma emphasizes that “there’s something come down between me and [my kids] that don’t let us understand each other” (Hansberry 52). Hansberry sets up a sentimental tone that helps connect the reader to Mamma’s feelings. Furthermore, the character’s concern over the distance between her and her kids creates a sympathetic mood for the audience who begin to question whether the family will grow closer or further apart at the end of the novel.
The recurring themes of inequality and racial profiling stimulates readers to be curious about the ending of the play. The Youngers face many obstacles throughout the book, especially discrimination. When moving into a white neighborhood, the head of the neighborhood explains that one “just can’t force people to change their hearts” about a certain race (Hansberry 119). The statement is ironic due to the fact that Mr. Lindner thinks it is beyond the bounds of possibility to change the minds of the white people – yet he is asking the Youngers to change their minds by abandoning their dreams.
The biased mentality of Mr. Linder develops a empathetic mood towards the Youngers and engrosses readers further into the novel to find out whether the family stands up to the discrimination or not. There are a lot of understatements throughout the entirety of the play, especially with Walter when he states “man say to his woman: I got me a dream. His woman say: eat your eggs” (Hansberry 33). Walter characterizes women as people with only domestic interest in mind. The generalization made about women creates a conflicting mood within the audience. The differing opinion about inequality between the two sides facilitates the audience to see if Walter’s point of view on women change throughout the play.
Authors evoke curiosity within readers in order to ensure interest in the conclusion of their novels. When books connect on an emotional level, readers relate to the text on a more deeper level which causes them to show a special interest in the turnout of the novel.