In the play "A Raisin in the Sun," Lorraine Hansberry uses the indirect characterization of the Younger family through their acquaintances to reveal that money and materialism alone are worthless.
What conclusions can you draw about the state of race relations in the United States at the time? What do you think about Mr. Kennedy’s strategy? Based on your reading of “A Raisin in the Sun,” imagine the conversation between Lorraine Hansberry and Robert F. Kennedy. What suggestions might the playwright have had for the attorney general? How do you think Mr. Kennedy might have reacted to Ms. Hansberry and her ideas?
“A Raisin in the Sun” vividly captures the difficult life for African Americans of the time period, while rallying attention to the debilitating prejudice that abounds in regards to this particular racial group....
In A Raisin in the Sun, it is clear all the main characters have dreams whether it is to give have a nice life, buy a house, make money, or become a doctor.
- This essay on the characters in Little Women discuss the differences between the March sisters and explains their good and bad traits.
This label has been reasonably assigned considering the play has a cast that consists primarily of African American actors; however, when looking beyond the surface of this play and the color of the author and characters, one can see that A Raisin in the Sun actually transcends the boundaries of racial labels through the universal personalities assigned to each character and the realistic family situations that continue to evolve throughout the storyline....
Hansberry expresses her different views on the American Dream through the characters and she portrays the daily struggles of a 1950 black family throughout A Raisin in the Sun.
In Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun the characters are caught up in caring too much about money, and it effects them all in many different decisions that they make such as Ruth wanting to get an abortion, Mama buying them a house, and Walter investing in the liquor store.
A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, and The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, exhibit the various types of American lifestyles and the aspiration that surface among each character....
- Conflict in Raisin in the Sun can be seen in several characters of the play. A Raisin in the Sun relates the story of a working-class African-American family with dreams.
A Raisin in the Sun, written by and produced on stage in 1959, marks a watershed moment in American theater. On the face of it, A Raisin in the Sun was not destined for success. With only one white cast member, an inexperienced director, and an untried playwright, Hansberry had difficulty finding financial backing for the play at a time when theater audiences were overwhelmingly white. It was an immediate success, however, and after several tours, it opened on , making it the first-ever Broadway play written by an African-American woman.
What makes Hansberry’s writing remarkable is not only her accuracy in capturing the racial dynamics of her time, but her foresight in predicting the direction black culture would take in subsequent years. The play's setting covers a pivotal time period for race relations in America – after WWII and before 1959. When Americans fought in World War II, they were fighting to uphold equality for all…which exposed the hypocrisy of the very unequal conditions for blacks back home. Americans were only beginning to address these inequalities at the time Hansberry was writing, and she did a great job at capturing the mood of her time through only one family.
As discussed in the "" section, the Younger family’s fulfillment/non-fulfillment of their dreams mirrors how black Americans as a whole had gained some concessions while still being oppressed in other respects. A character like Beneatha, however, is way ahead of her time. The play opened in 1959, remember, which is before all the feminists started demanding their rights, and before black Americans began embracing Africa as part of their identity. Beneatha embodies both movements before they ever existed.
One last note: A Raisin in the Sun is part of broader shift in black art towards depicting working-class, ordinary African-Africans. Previously, black intellectuals did not use literature, art, or the stage to portray working-class African-Americans for fear they would perpetuate undesirable stereotypes. Both poet and Lorraine Hansberry thought this was ridiculous; they felt that writing about lower class African-Americans would actually debunk the stereotypes. By focusing on the dreams and aspirations of one particular working-class black family, moreover, Hansberry was able to show audiences the universality of black aspirations while also demonstrating that their race posed a significant barrier to achieving those goals.
- The obvious theme within A Raisin in the Sun is racial discrimination, however it’s most prevalent message is that of personal pride, and pride within a family.
- An essay on the characters from A Raisin in the Sun look into the rich and diverse characters that give an insight of the African American community in the urban north.