Learning To Like Summer Essay, Research Paper
Learning to Like Summer
How can personal experiences change a person s attitude? This question is answered
through Lorraine Hansberry s On Summer. In this narrative, the main character and author,
Lorraine, has a disfavorable impression of summer. However, through certain experiences,
she realizes that it is a season to be greatly appreciated.
Summer was a mistake, according to Lorraine. It was an utter overstatement that
consisted of displeasurable things like grainy sand, cold waters, and the icky, perspiry feeling of
bathing caps. Everything was always louder, sharper, hotter, and therefore, very
uncomfortable. However, Lorraine did appreciate one thing about summer, and that was how on
hot days, her family would go to the park and lay on the cool, sweet grass with a freshly-cut
smell of lemons.
An experience that opened Lorraine s mind to the joys of summer was when she went to
visit her grandmother in Tennessee. During her drive, while passing Kentucky, she saw
beautiful hills where her grandfather had hidden as a slave from his master. After reaching her
grandmother and spending some time in the rural Tennessee, Lorraine begins to associate the
good parts of summer with the natural beauty of the countryside. Soon, the fun summer is over
and Lorraine must go back home to Chicago. Next summer, upon hearing that her grandmother
has died, she realizes how special summer was because of the precious moments she was able to
spend with her grandmother.
Another event in Lorraine s life that aided in changing her opinion of summer was when
she went up to a lodge in Maine. She encountered a remarkable woman who was stricken with
cancer, but didn t let that cancer be a hindrance to her. The woman refused to accept cancer as
tragedy and her face softened, looking around, hoping to see one more summer. Through the
lady s eyes, she found the gift of another summer with its stark and intimate structure.
Through her experiences with the cancer-ridden woman and her grandmother, Lorraine
realized that summer was the most special season of them all. Summer has the longest days, and
to dying people like those mentioned above, every minute counts. Summer gives these people
more daylight, more time, to realize their wishes and dreams. Fall, with its pretentious
melancholy, can t do this, and the austere winter can t do it either. Not even the
frivolous spring, full of false promises could measure up to the intensity and beauty of summer
in Lorraine s eyes. Hearing that the woman battling cancer did indeed get to see another
summer just cemented these newfound beliefs for her, and is proof that experiences can change a person s attitude.