A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry Essay

A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, has often been dubbed a “black” play by critics since its debut on Broadway in 1959. 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. As seen when comparing A Raisin in the Sun to “The Rich Brother,” a story for which the characters receive no label of race, many commonalities can be found between the characters’ personalities and their beliefs. Such similarities prove that A Raisin in the Sun is not merely a play intended to appeal only to the black community, nor should it be construed as a story about the plights of the black race alone, but instead should be recognized as a play about the struggles that all families, regardless of race, must endure in regard to their diversity and financial disparity. A succinct introduction and excellent writing!

Written by Lorraine Hansberry, the first African American woman to have ever had a play produced on Broadway, A Raisin in the Sun tells the tale of a financially struggling black family living in a run down, bug infested apartment on Chicago’s Southside. In great contrast to these particular aspects of Raisin, Tobias Wolff, a well known, modern day Caucasian writer of short stories, tells of a different lifestyle in his story, “The Rich Brother,” in which he depicts the life of two brothers, one having prospered financially and the othe…

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Miller, Jordan Y. “Lorraine Hansberry.” The Black American Writer: Poetry and Drama, II. Student Resource Center. Gale Group Databases. Collin County Community College Library, Plano TX. 28 February 2011 .

“Overview of Lorrain (Vivian) Hansberry.” Discovering Authors. (1999). Student Resource Center. Gale Group Databases. Collin County Community College Library, Plano TX. 28 February 2011 .

Weales, Gerald. “Thought on A Raisin in the Sun.” Commentary. 27.6 (June, 1959). Student Resource Center. Gale Group Databases. Collin County Community College Library, Plano TX. 28 February 2011 .

Wolff, Tobias. “The Rich Brother.” Making Literature Matter. Ed. John Clifford and John Schilb. 2nd Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 391 – 403.

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