A Raisin in the Sun

A Raisin in the Sun is a story of the Younger Family dealing with racial problems in Chicago slums. Ten thousand dollars arrives in the mail and Lena has to decide what to do with it. Bennie wants it for tuition money, Walter wants it for down payment for the liqueur store and Ruth just wants everyone to be happy. So there is three major events happening: (1) Lena decides to buy a house in a white neighborhood, (2) Lena entrusts the rest of the money to Walter telling him to save a good amount for Beneatha’s schooling and (3)Walter loses all the money in the liquor store scam.

In all these dilemmas Lena has a plant that she talks and takes care of it through out the story. Mama’s plant symbolizes hope for the future. In act one scene one Mama says “ Lord, if this little old plant don’t get more sun than it’s been getting it ain’t never going to see spring again.

( Hansberry, 40)” In the beginning that the plants needs sun because its in a room with a little window and Mama worries that it will not spring so it shows that even thought it does not have enough sun and it is still surviving so it wants to holding because it knows it will be in a better place and become stronger in the future. In act one scene one Mama says “They spirited all right, my children. Got to admit they got spirit- Bennie and Walter.. Like this little old plant that ain’t never had enough sunshine or nothing – and look at it…(Hansberry,52)” Mama Knows that Bennie and Walter are strong and do not just give up like that plant which shows hope for the future for both them to hold out for that soil and that house even thought it has racism they can get through it like the plant without the sun. Beneath: “Mama, what are you doing?” Mama:“ Fixing my plant so it won’t get hurt none on the way…” Beneatha: Mama, you going to take that to the new house?(Hansberry,121)” Mama: ”un-huh-” Beneatha: “ that raggedy-looking old thing?” Mama: It EXPRESSES ME!” Even thought Beneath tells Mama how the plant is old and worthless she knows that expresses her. Mama’s plant does not symbolizes anything because all she talks about is getting the garden since all she has is one plant so she says the houses in her neighborhood have their garden. “well, I always wanted me a garden like I used to see sometimes at the back of the houses down home. This plant is close as I ever got to having one.(Hansberry,53)” Lena just wanted to have a garden since she could not have one when she was little because she was a slave. So that plant is the closest thing she ever had to a garden. Although some may be able to argue that Mama’s plant does not symbolizes anything because she only wants a garden with her house. She wants a garden and that plant is the only thing she can have but it does mean the plant symbolizes hope because she treats the plant like one of her children she nurtures it and wants to take it to a new house to live. Mama’s plant is hope for the future because it thrived or lived through not having a lot of light through that small window in the apartment just like the family went through racism.

“A Raisin In A Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry

I have a dream…
“A dream deeply rooted in the American Dream.”

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live without the true meaning of its creed: “we hold these truths to be self- evident: that all me are created equal.” “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judge by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

” “I have a dream that one day little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with white boys and white girls are walk together as sisters and brothers.” Martin Luther King Jr.

In the play “A Raisin In A Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry is essentially about dreams, including the American Dream. The play takes place around the 1950’s in Chicago’s south side, when segregation was still around. In this play you meet a cast of people with dreams of a better life that compares the novel “A Raisin in the Sun” with Martin Luther King’s speech “I Have a Dream.

” It Analyzes the similar themes found in play like racial injustice, socio-economic discrimination, dream fulfillment and the fact that it takes place during the same time. There are many aspects that are discussed in both “ A Raisin in the Sun” and “I have a dream” speech. Perhaps the most important of those are racial injustice, socio-economic discrimination, unity, and the struggles for the American dream.

In this play there are many different dreams, Mama’s dream is to create a better life for her family. The American dream, which is the idea of success that involves owning a house, being able to provide a better life for your family and to attain certain material objects. Mama’s dream is the American dream of moving her family out the small cramped house and into a bigger house, that is perfect for a family of five with a yard children can play and where she can tend a garden. For many African Americans during the 1950’s “The American dream” was to be treated equally and before that their dream was freedom, an end to slavery.Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech” and the play “A Raisin in the Sun” have many similarities. They both have the desire for black and white equality. They also want to make a change and live the way they feel is right for them to live. They both willing to take chances in doing so and begin to achieve by trying. A Raisin in the Sun and “I Have a Dream” speech both deal with many issues but none more important than injustice.

Racism was the root cause of all the discrimination and injustice African Americans faced. Martin Luther King Jr. speech and Lorraine Hansberry both are examples of the starving freedom of black American and both speak the truth of the realities of life and dreams for the future of all Americans. Even after many years of African Americans being released from slavery and became free Americans, they were still treated the same and that they are not actually free until the people are all equal regardless to skin color. Walter Lee and Martin Luther King Jr. both make the same points because they both have their big dreams and are willing to do anything to make their dreams come true. A dream is to envision another life or characteristic that could be better or worse than what the person already has. In the case of most people it is a dream that is positive.

People mainly are selfish dreamers who dream only about themselves but there are some who dream about the world or others such as friends and family. Two examples of these types of dreamers are Mama and Martin Luther King Jr. In Dr. King’s speech he brings up that his dream is not only for him but also for others with the same problem. He is a caring dreamer, one who believes others come first then him. Mama is this type of dreamer because her dreams are for her family and the well being of them. Even though Mama’s dream is not as deep or motivational as Dr. King, it is still a non-selfish dream. Mama’s dream was to get a house that was more suitable to live in then the current house that the Youngers live in. Which was dirty and small. They were cramped up and highly uncomfortable, it was defiantly not a proper house for five people and a baby on the way.

Therefore Mama’s dream of having better living qualities was a smart investment. “Them houses they put up for colored in them areas way out all seem to cost twice as much as other houses. She found a nice house for a good price in a White neighborhood; white neighborhoods had bigger and cheaper homes then black neighborhoods. She found the best deal as she said her self: I did the best I could” (Act 2. Scene 1.93) Mama thinks she chose the best option for the family and she did. This can be related to Marin Luther King Jr.’s dream as well.He dreamed of a world where black and whites and all races would live in peace. He envisioned that there would be no hate because of skin tone or place of origin. He dreamt that “We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one” (“I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr.)

By this line he meant that they should not stop fighting for equal rights until they move out of little suburban areas classified as ghettos. Once again that speech can relate to Walter Lee, when he finally takes a stand in his “manly hood” and shows his pride in his family. The story ended as him being the head of the family because he took control and became a family man by rejected an offer from a white businessman to stay out of a white neighborhood and to stay with all blacks. When Travis smiles up at his father; this is when Walter Lee has a sudden change of heart. He explains to Mr. Lindner that his family members are plain proud people and how his father worked for decades as a laborer, which his father basically earned the right for his family to move into their new home in Clybourne Park.

They have come so far and worked so hard why turned it down, they have earned it, its only fare. Walter realizes and rediscovers his self-worth, Self-respect and self-esteem and he proves this when he said to Mr. Lindner that “the sixth generation of our family in this country.” He finally reclaims his personal pride, defends his family’s historical right to be treated fairly in their country, and to protect his family’s dignity. They both reflect the conditions that African Americans had to go through to get equality from discrimination and segregation.It was clear that in both accounts of dreams that there was a time to strike and in both accounts that time was now. Both the Youngers and black people of the Civil Rights Movement had one common dream hidden by many materialistic desires: dignity, equality, and progress. Dr. King said, “I have a dream today!” Walter Younger wants to make a business deal that could help him obtain dignity, equality, and progress for his family, and the insurance money that Mama will get is a once-in-a-lifetime deal.

A rare opportunity, that opens the door to propositions that could help his family acquire those qualities. Both Walter and Dr. King are telling their families and followers that the time for change is now and that change is a now or never deal.While one was real and one was not, the desire, dreams, and struggles mentioned in the speech matched those of the novel perfectly. Martin Luther King and the characters of “A Raisin In A Sun” had the same ambitions, which included a better life for future generations, liberation from the unfair living conditions of African-American citizens, and the importance on the urgency necessary for making these dreams happen. Both pieces represented a fight, one for a family, and one for a group of millions. As well as wars against inequality, injustice, and unfairness were won.Mama historically represents Rosa Parks because she acts as a leader through out the story.

They both spoke up for what they believed in. Mama speaking up gave he courage and wisdom. The courage Rosa Parks had was when she got arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus because of what she believe and in the human rights. Just like Mama when she stood up for her husband, when Walter Lee was not setting an example for his rights. She didn’t not want him to take Mr. Lindner offer of money in exchange of his family not to moving in to its dream house in a white neighborhood because she believed in her and her family’s rights. Therefore she also stood up for what she believes in and the human rights.The Great Migration was a period in American history where blacks moved north to escape the Jim Crow laws and prejudice of the South. The civil rights movement brought enlightenment towards the abolishment of segregation laws. Although the laws are gone, one might ask, “does segregation still exist? “

Yes it does but our segregation problems now aren’t just about race. They’re about income too, and the web of connections between what it means to be poor and a person of color in the city. Not only are people segregated by race and by income, meaning that people of color are likely to live with other people of color and poor people are likely to live with poor people. For example in East Harlem there isn’t really any healthy places to eat just fast food and the supermarkets are pricy. If you were to go downtown were wealthy people live thru have a variety of healthy places to eat that is affordable as well as their supermarkets like Trader Joes. In today’s society one can agree with Walter Lee that life now is about money, t is now the rich vs. the poor.In the beginning of the play it mentions their dreams being deferred, which means their hope of full equality is postponed.” What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Langston Hughes wrote the poem, and Lorraine Hansberry was inspired by both by the poem and by her own real-life experience to write A Raisin in the Sun. This play was the first play on Broadway that was written by an African-American woman as well as the first African American to direct a play on Broadway. The play was inspired by Hansberry’s own experience with racism and housing discrimination. Her father was tried to buy a house in a white neighborhood much like the one in the play but he was blocked because in the 1950’s African American could not get housing in good neighborhoods because of the color of their skin. They were still segregated, and many times they were treated violently. They were unable to find good paying jobs as they were overlooked in favor of white people. Often times, they received inadequate medical care, and were made to wait for treatment in hospitals while white folks got treatment first. As a child, Hansberry’s family became one of the first to move into a white neighborhood.

When their neighbors rebelled, both with threats of violence and legal action, the Hansberry’s defended themselves; Hansberry’s father successfully brought his case all the way to the Supreme Court. Her father sued and won a partial victory in the US Supreme Court. Lorraine Hansberry used her play A Raisin In A Sun to tell people about her own life struggle with racism and female discrimination. Her play shows us her problems were handled with determination and a will to keep striving for her goal of becoming a writer. Langston Hughes anticipated such an uprising in his poem, just as Hansberry illustrated the effects of a dream deferred by the Youngers. Raisin answers the last line of Hughes’ poem: “Or does it explode?” Indeed it did, and Raisin became a beacon for a changing nation.

Hansberry was also the first black playwright as well as he youngest to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. Since then, the drama about a black family’s dream to move into a white neighborhood in pre-civil-rights-era Chicago has been translated into 30 languages and has been continually produced in church basements, community halls, school auditoriums, and professional theaters.A dream deferred is a dream put off to another time, each character from A Raisin in the Sun had a deferred dream, and their dreams become dried up like a raisin in the sun. Not just dreams are dried up though; Walter Lee and Ruth’s marriage became dried up also. Their marriage was no longer of much importance, like a dream it was post-phoned and it became dry. Their struggle for happiness dried up because they had to concentrate all of their energies on surviving. Their needs seem no longer to be satisfied by each other. But they both saw a resolution in the insurance check arriving in the mail. The money would let Ruth fulfill her dream of owning her own house and leaving the apartment.

Money seemed to get in the way of all of their dreams. It was the force that controlled their lives. The money is like the sun that leaves no choice to the grape but to dry up until a raisin never the less it does not mean that the raisin is no longer good, it is still sweet. Dreams are good to shoot for, but don’t let them ruin your life trying to fulfill them (Robinson). At the end Ruth and Walter Lee reconcile because they still loved each other, Walter took her out a date to the movies, where they finally had some quality time. Ruth sees hope in their marriage as she describes her date to Beneatha: Ruth: “ we went to the movies. We went to the movies. You know the last time ma and Walter went to the movies together?” Beneatha: “No.” Ruth: “Me either. That’s how long it’s been (smiling again) but we went last night. The picture wasn’t much good, but that didn’t seem to matter. We went and we held hands.” (Act 1. Scene 2.51) this shows that once Walter has control over money, he becomes much more affectionate with Ruth and that there is still love between them.

Many dream in raisin in the sun were deferred like Beneatha’s dream of becoming a doctor and to save her race from ignorance. The first part of her dream may be deferred because of the money Walter loses. Her dream is also one deferred for all women. Beneatha lives in a time when society expects women to build homes rather than careers. In other words play the role of a housewife. Women were also discriminated around this time, women weren’t really admitted to medical school, same with law school, teachers and they were not even allow to sit in jury.Walter’s dream of owning his own business has been so long deferred and left “festering” of his family. The “open sores” of his deferred dream blind him to the consequences of his actions and to the ache he causes Mama Younger.

After Willy Harris convinces Walter that investing in the liquor store is a great idea, Willy takes Walter’s money and runs. It is because of the thieving Willy Harris that Walter’s dream is deferred.The dream of owning your own business and having all the money you will ever need is a goal held by many in society, then and now. Walter Lee Younger becomes obsessed with his dream of a business venture that will give him financial and social independence, after getting and losing the money that will help this dream become reality he realizes that pride and dignity are more important for him and his family. There are also many symbols in “A Raisin In The Sun” but one important symbol that represented dreams was Mama’s plant. It was weak but resilient; it represented her dream of living in a bigger house with a lawn. Whenever she tends to her plant, she symbolically shows her dedication to her dream.

The first thing that Mama does in the morning as mention in the beginning of the play in Act 1 towards the ending of Scene 1 is that is that she goes to the window, opens it, and brings in a feeble little plant growing doggedly in a small pot on the window. The plant is just as important as her dream. Mama admits that the plant has never had enough sunshine but still survives. In other words, her dream has always been deferred but still remains strong. When Beneatha asks why Mama would want to keep that “raggedy-looking old thing,” Mama Younger replies: “It expresses me.”(Actv2. Scene 3) At the end of the play, Mama decides to bring the plant with her to their new home. While it initially stands for her deferred dream, now, as her dream comes true, it reminds her of her strength in working and waiting for so many years.

Her plant will also have a new home and beginning for it may now get more sunlight in its bigger home.In conclusion for all these reasons, A Raisin in the Sun is an ideal work to discuss in terms of the American dream. It shows how the admirable idea that everyone can achieve their ambitions if they work doesn’t always stand up in the face of real life, and how people can redeem them as Walter Lee does when he refuses the buyout offer through moral courage. Society in the 1959 was full of racial discrimination. Martin Luther King and Walter Lee both have the starvation to stop the desolation of discrimination. Hansberry, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. all have inspiring stories and if they were still alive today they can see how far there dreams have come that has inspire many. Hughes asks whether a dream is deferred is like “ A Raisin In The Sun” and he specifically asking whether a dream will “dry up”. Grapes in the South dry into raisins, but it never lose their sweetness, no matter how much they dry up.

The American Dream in “A Raisin In The Sun”

A Raisin in the Sun is a play that focuses on the “American Dream” and one’s conception of a “better life”. Each character in the play has their own view on what that dream is and what they perceive a better life to be. Hansberry focuses on the importance of achieving one’s dreams regardless of the various harsh struggles in life. Mama has dreams of providing her family with a better life she and her husband ever had. Mama said, “Lord if this little plant don’t get more sun than it’s been getting it ain’t never going to see spring again.

” The plant symbolizes Mamas dedication to her dreams. Every morning she tends to her plant and explains that even though it doesn’t get the amount of sunlight that is needed the plant is still alive. This also symbolizes that even though her dreams have been deferred throughout her life she still keeps them alive and strives to achieve them.

Mama decided to put a down payment on a house in a white neighborhood knowing that this would keep the family together.

This also shows her belief in achieving the ideal American Dream. Mama is the head of the household and always makes sure her children remember where they came from and to take pride in what they believe in. She wants them to respect themselves and to succeed while maintaining moral boundaries. Ruth has similar dreams as Mama does, she wants to build her own happy family and move towards a bigger and better house. Ruth said to mama, “So you went and did it! PRAISE GOD! Please honey let me be glad, you be glad too. Ok walter a home..a home.”

Ruth’s reaction to how happy she was when she found out Mama bought a house shows how much she does care for her family and wants that American dream as well. Ruth believes that ownership can bring happiness and that is the idea of her “better life”. Beneatha’s dream is to become a doctor and stand up against ignorance in racism. Beneatha’s dreams were deferred because she grew up in a society where people expected women to build homes rather than have actual careers. Also money was another issue that had been holding her back from becoming a doctor and pursuing her dream. Walter said to Beneatha,” Ain’t many girls decide to be a doctor.” Beneatha replied sarcastically by saying,” Forgive me for wanting to be anything at all.” This shows how Walter is close minded and agrees on the views of women and their role in society. Beneatha and Walter disagreed on what the “American Dream” was because they both had such different ideas on what they portrayed a better life to be.

Beneatha thinks that Walters dream of buying a liquor store is a waste of money, she doesn’t feel Walter has the ambition or ability to make a success of such a business and is thankful that her mother will not agree to the plan. Beneatha’s character explicates a determined woman; she is different from other women in her generation because her dreams and ambitions are contrary to what is expected in the cultural traditions. Walter is an example of a negative and positive character throughout the play due to his actions on trying to achieve his ideal American dream. Walter is striving for economic independence and wants to own his business/ liquor store. He wants to be the sole provider for his family and household. Walter said to mama,” A job mama, a job? I open and close car doors all day long, I drive a man around in his limousine and I say, “yes, sir, no, sir; very good, sir; shall I take the drive, sir” Mama that ain’t no kind of job, that ain’t nothing at all.”

This symbolizes how Walter is embarrassed of this job and how badly he wants to invest in the liquor company to become economically independent. His definition of a man is by measuring his success and ability to provide for his family. Walter goes through with trying to make his business happen by using some of the insurance money Mama had; he ends up losing his money to a con-artist and this is when he realizes the importance of his family’s dreams and where he came from. Mama said, “He finally come into his manhood today, didn’t he? Kind of like a rainbow after the rain.” This symbolizes how Walter went from being looked down upon by his family to becoming his family’s hero, when he realized that he had to step up and be a man. He now knows what his priorities are and that’s for him to stand by his family and face the future. In spite of all the problems the family had during the play at the end we see the Younger’s moving out of their old house into a new one. Mama is carrying her plant with her; this symbolizes how they still have their old “roots” even though they’re taking a brave step by moving into a white neighborhood and fulfilling the American dream that they’ve all been longing for.

Racism In A Raisin In The Sun

Pride in “A raisin in the sun” Lorraine Hansberrys’ A raisin in the sun concerns a colored family having to live with different forms of racism throughout their everyday lives. Throughout the story, Hansberry focuses on the theme of pride throughout many characters. Walter, Mama, and Beneatha all show a sense of pride throughout the way that they live.

Walter has a high sense of pride throughout the play A raisin in the sun. Walter was originally going to sell his house when he invited over Mr.

Linder, a salesman in the white neighborhood. Since his son was next to him he had enough pride for that family that he didn’t sell the house. He even told the salesman “We come from people who had a lot of pride, I mean that we are very proud people”. (148) That is how Walter shows he is a very proud man.

Another example of pride in Lorraine Hansberrys’ A raisin in the sun is shown throughout the character of Mama.

Mama was having a conversation with Walter about how money shouldn’t be your life. Then she makes a statement proving she is a person with a high sense of pride when she says “you aren’t satisfied or proud of anything we’ve done”. This proves she is a person who has pride for her family and what she had done in life, when she made this statement to Walter. That is how Mama has a high sense of pride for her life and her accomplishments.

Finally, Beneatha also shows a high sense of pride throughout her character. She makes a few comments proving she is a person with a high sense of pride. Asagai also is quoted for saying “she prides herself on being independent”. This proves that she has a high sense of pride since she is a very independent person. She is soo independent that she plans to go to Africa with Asagai. This proves that Beneatha is a person that has a high sense of pride.

In conclusion, Hansberrys’ A raisin in the sun concerning a colored family having to live with many different forms of racism, shows how the Walter, Mama, and Beneatha all have a high sense of pride for their families and their goals that they have accomplished.

Elements used in Raisin in the Sun

Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun is a monumental play in the theatrical world. Produced in 1959, it became the first play written by an African-American woman to hit the stage and was later nominated for several Tony Awards. The play touched many controversial themes of the time including racial discrimination and poverty. The design of Raisin in the Sun, including scenic, costume, lighting, and sound elements, were crucial to developing the plot and emphasizing these themes. All of the elements are vital to the message and audience interpretation of the production, and overall, the Playmakers Repertory Company executed them well.

The scenic design of a play is arguably the most important element of a production. It is what sets the stage and puts both the characters and the script into context. In Raisin in the Sun, the set, including scenery and props, helped define the characters, allowing the audience to get a feel for the setting and time period. Most importantly, the scenery developed the line of the play—the space in which the Younger family had to live—which was strategic to developing plot conflict.

The Younger family lived in a small, run down apartment that emphasized their social class.

To name a few, the wallpaper was discolored, the living room couch was old and musty, and the only visible bedroom to the audience was merely big enough for the bed. Travis, the son, was forced to sleep on the couch, and it was unclear how much space was upstairs where Beneatha, the daughter, and the Grandmother, Lena, slept. The design of the apartment played to the overall conflict within the family; the desperation to escape poverty only intensified within these cramped quarters.

Although, the characters managed to deal with their living situation, it caused tension to build within each member of the family, which was a crucial part of plot development. The lower class feel of the house honed in on Walter Lee’s burning desire to get into business and climb the social ladder. The less-than-luxurious surroundings seemed to amplify his unhappiness when he entered the room, allowing the plot to build along with the tension in the house. In addition to scenery, the props strategically placed around the housed

illustrated the family’s cares and values. Throughout the room, the audience could see many picture frames. However, the two that were predominately displayed were a picture of Christ hanging over the front door, and a picture of Lena’s deceased husband that stayed on a table in the living room. These props emphasized importance the Younger’s placed on family and religion, which came up many times throughout the production. The entire family lived under one roof, looking after one another and making ends meet, together as a whole.

In addition, the plot centered around a life-insurance check from the death of Lena’s husband. This kept the element of religion present since he was deceased and in the eyes of Lena, watching over the family. Both the design of the apartment and the detail of the props within it gave the audience a greater understanding of the deep-rooted values and conflicts of the family. The costume design of Raisin in the Sun went hand-in-hand with the scenery and props. The realistic clothes of the Younger family further described a family of lower class, although not an untidy one.

Each day, the members of the family would dress for work or school as well as they could, which illustrated the pride the family carried. This enormous pride stemmed from an important theme within the play: overcoming racial discrimination. Lena dreamed of escaping the busyness of Chicago, and bought a house in a white neighborhood with the hefty check from her husband’s insurance policy. Her pride kept the family afloat and was their only defense against the discrimination they faced from the area. Furthermore, each character’s costumes fit their personalities.

While Lena, Ruth, and Walter Lee were usually dressed in working clothes, reflecting their family duty, Beneatha dressed in more modern clothes, illustrating her character as a free-spirited college student. One day she would wear girly skirts and flowery designs, the next she was going back to her roots wearing African garments and sporting natural hair. The costume designers successfully captured each character’s personality as well as keeping the image of pride apparent through the character’s choice of clothes. In addition to scenic and costume design, every play must have specific lighting.

This sets the mood of each scene, giving the audience a better feel of what is happening within the plot. For the most part, the lighting within the apartment was warm and dim, giving the setting a homey and somewhat relaxed feel. However, the dimness of the light also played upon the unhappiness that stirred within the family during certain scenes. These moments of lighting kept with the realistic aspect of the play. However, there were times of unrealistic lighting meant to enhance a scene. When Beneatha was dancing to African music and Walter Lee came in and joined her, the lighting became jungle-like.

The reds and oranges along with the images of palm frons surrounded the two, carrying them away from the real world. Although this would never happen in real life, it was apparent the lighting was illustrating what was going on in their minds, showing the desire to escape their current troubles. The second and only other time of surreal lighting was when Walter Lee had his breakdown and then moment of clarity near the end of the show. The entire set went dark except for a spotlight on him. This choice in lighting was appropriate for such a somber scene and drew the audience in even more.

The times of abstract or unrealistic lighting did not take away from the realness of the play. Instead, it enhanced the scenes to the benefit of the audience. The last element of design that affected the play is the sound design. Obviously the show had typical sound effects—doors slamming for emphasis, Beneatha playing African music, etc. —that decorated each scene as it unfolded. However, there was a significant aspect to the sound design of this particular production. Throughout the play, the characters would turn on the radio and interviews and other recordings from the 1960s would play over the speaker.

Some of these included Lorraine Hansberry speaking about the nominations and winning the Tony and discussion of civil rights movements of the time. Some may think this was distracting, but it anchored the play within the time period. This allowed the audience to get a better feel of what was happening during the era and highlighted the major theme of racial discrimination within the plot. All in all, the production of Raisin in the Sun was a success. Yes, this is highly due in part to the excellent skill of the actors.

However, without stagecraft, a play cannot be complete. The elements of design produce a world that actors could never create on script alone. In the Playmakers Repertory Company’s production of Raisin in the Sun, the scenic, costume, lighting, and sound design worked cohesively to enhance and develop all aspects of the characters and plot. The provocative themes of escaping poverty, chasing dreams, and overcoming racial discrimination were illustrated brilliantly by tremendous execution of the elements of design and an impressive performance by the acting company.

A Raisin in the Sun Compare/Contrast Play/Film

Lorraine Hansberry’s play “A Raisin in the Sun,” was a radically new representation of black life, resolutely authentic, fiercely unsentimental, and unflinching in its vision of what happens to people whose dreams are constantly deferred. I compared Act One, Scene 2, in the play and the film. The setting in the play is on a Saturday morning, and house cleaning is in process at the Youngers. In the film, the setting is the same as play, with lighting and costumes. The plot in the play is when Mrs.

Younger gets the insurance check of $10,000.

In the film, the plot is the same, but includes music not mentioned in the play. The dialogue in the film has some deletions from the original text, with new dialogue added throughout the scene. Some film techniques used are: the film cuts back and forth to different characters, the room is well lit with the sunshine coming in through the window, and music is added throughout some parts of this scene.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the play and the film in this scene involves dialogue. Much of the dialogue is deleted, however, new dialogue is added through some parts of this scene.

Also, in the play, the mailman comes up to their apartment and rings the door bell unlike the film, Travis runs up to him outside the building and gets the mail from him right away and runs back to give it to Mrs. Younger (his grandma). I also compared Act Two, Scene 1, in the play and the film. The setting in the play is later, that same day at the Youngers. In the film, the setting is the same as play, with lighting and costumes. The plot in the play is when Mama, Mrs. Younger, buys Travis a new house for when he gets older to be a man.

In the film, the plot is the same as play with music added to parts of this scene. The dialogue in the film has some lines rephrased and also has some deletions from the original text; new dialogue is added throughout parts of this scene. Some film techniques used in this scene are: the room is brightly lit with lamps and other light fixtures, the film cuts back and forth to different characters and the camera seems to move alone with the characters as they did, and music is added throughout parts of this scene.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the play and the film in this scene involves dialogue. Much of the dialogue is rephrased and not said as the author has written it in the play. And also, some of the dialogue from the original text is deleted, however, new dialogue is added. And also, unlike the film, a lot of the actions the author has described in the play did not happen in the film. Such as, on page 91 as Ruth says “Praise God!

” the author describes that she raises both arms classically, and as she tells Walter Lee to be glad, the author describes she has laid her hands on his shoulders, but he shakes himself free of her roughly, without turning to face her, these actions did not happen in the film. I also had compared Act Two, Scene 3, in the play and the film. The setting in the play is on a Saturday, moving day, one week later. In the film, the setting is the same as the play, with lighting and costumes. The plot in the play is Linder tries to buy back the house from the Younger family.

In the film, the plot is the same as the play. The dialogue in the film has some deletions from play; new dialogue is added in replacement of the deleted dialogue. Some film techniques used in this scene are: the film cuts back and forth to different characters, and the room is well lit with the sunshine coming in through the window. Perhaps the biggest difference between the play and the film in this scene also involves dialogue. The dialogue in this scene is mostly faithful to the play but has some deletions. On the other hand, new dialogue was added in replacement of the deleted lines from the original text.

A Raisin in the Sun Book Review

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry is a truly exquisite piece of literature that has influenced readers, young and old, for generations. It gives us a very realistic view of racial tension, as well as the socioeconomic struggles, African Americans faced during the late 1940s-50s. In this play we meet the Youngers, a lower-class, diverse-minded, African American family simply trying to survive in 1950s South Chicago. Together they face economic hardship, racial discrimination, and the constant struggle to keep a fragile family together as each member searches for their version of the “American Dream”.

Hansberry did an excellent job in creating the Younger family to represent lower class African American families in the 1950s. The Youngers live in a rundown, two-bedroom apartment. The family consists of Mama, Walter, Ruth, Travis, and Beneatha. The economic aspect of the play is centered around the insurance check Mama will be getting for her late husband, the author uses this to create a foundation for the Youngers story; the money elicits conflict between the characters as each has their own idea on what to do with money that does not even belong to them.

A major motif in this play is racism, the author allows for a bit of foreshadowing in the beginning of the play with the bombing of another African American family in Clybourne Park, a mainly white community and the area where Mama eventually buys the new family house. Hansberry uses Walter to tie these two themes together. After losing all of the money Mama gave him to invest in his business and to save for Beneatha’s college fund, he then goes to get more money by selling back Mama’s new house: he can either overcome the racism and be the man his mother always knew he could be, or he can take the money for another chance to pursue his dreams but at the same time he would essentially be selling his soul to the devil. Walter must choose to either satiate his thirst for wealth or maintain the pride of his race.

Finally, Hansberry acknowledges the importance of family unity during these times. Ruth and Mama are the two main characters attempting to hold everything together. Hansberry made these characters strong and full of hope, despite their situation in life. Created any other way and we would probably see the family fall apart as the story began to unfold. Money and racism are also huge tests on the strength of this family as they struggle through the hardships of poverty and realize the shortcomings of some of the family members.

All in all, A Raisin in the Sun is a very well written book. It is written in such a way that really puts you in the cramped, living conditions with the Youngers and helps readers to understand what it meant to be a poor African American family in the 1950s. Hansberry did a great job in creating solid characters which help to develop the story smoothly and realistically. It was a play I thoroughly enjoyed reading and would readily suggest to anyone looking for a good read.

Raisin in the Sun Walter Character Analysis

Depression is ongoing feelings of hopelessness, sadness, unhappiness, and causes a bleak outlook on life. When someone is suffering from depression they cannot be at the top of their game. A Raisin in the Sun is a play by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959, which was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway. The story is based upon the family getting an insurance check; from Walter senior’s death, and the troubles of an African American family in the 1950’s.

One Character, Walter shows almost every sign of depression throughout the play. He uses bad cooping skills, like alcohol, hurting his family meanwhile. Walter begins the play, as an unhappy man who is selfish but later matures into a better husband, father, and head of the household.

When someone is unhappy, they tend to make impulsive decisions. In the case of Walter Lee Younger, he follows those footsteps. He proves that statement to be true when he tells the character Mama, also know as “Lena Younger” how he feel his job is nothing, saying, “…Mama, that ain’t no kind of job… that ain’t nothing at all” (Hansberry 73).

When Walter is talking to Mama about his future, he tells her he feels as if it’s, “ … a big, looming blank space- full of nothing” (73). That darkness he is showing in that conversation proves to us, that he is very unhappy where his life currently stands. The unhappiness he is experiencing now will later help him become a stronger man.

Throughout the play, Walter shows the audience that he is a very selfish man, who will do whatever to get his way. In the beginning of the play, Walter says while talking to Ruth “I got me a dream” (33). He wants to buy a liquor store with his father’s $10,000 life insurance money, he tells Ruth, “…the initial investment on the place be ‘bout thirty thousand, …that be ten thousand each” (33). Walter is oblivious that Mama and Ruth want a house, and Beneatha wants money for college, showing that Walter only cares about himself. The Younger’s get a call from Walter’s work, Ruth answers and they
tell her that Walter hasn’t been to work for three days.

This shows that Walter is being selfish and missing work to grieve at a bar because Mama didn’t give him money for the liquor store, when he knows the family is struggling for money. Ruth confronts Walter and tells him, “…Mr. Arnold has had to take a cab for three days…” and “…If you don’t come in tomorrow that they are getting a new man” (105), Walter looked at her and laughed. Walter thinks that through his selfish acts that he is going to get his way, but little does he know that it is just going to add fuel to the fire.

Sometimes it’s better off to shut up, swallow pride, and accept wrongdoing. It’s not giving up, It’s called growing up. That is exactly what Walter Lee did in the third act, he proved himself that he could be a better man. When he was talking to Mr. Karl Linder about if they where going to accept his offer, “…to buy the house… at a financial gain…” (118), Walter was planning to accept his offer, but realized his family really wanted to move into this home. He told Mr. Linder that, “ …we have decided to move into our house because my father – my father he earned it for us brick by brick” (148) which is a very big improvement for Walter. Usually Walter does impulsive selfish acts, not thinking about his family. When Mama told Walter, talking about Travis, “ …You make him understand what your doing, Walter Lee.

You teach him good. Like Willy Harris taught you. You show where five generations done come to” (147) something triggered Walter to realize what he was actually doing and made him reject the offer, doing something exceptional for the family, making himself a better head of the household. Walter also tells Linder that he is proud of Beneatha, which is very unusual. He tells him, “… that’s my sister over there and she’s going to be a doctor – and we are very proud” (148), that is a very big statement that he told Linder. Earlier in the play he told Beneatha, “Who the hell told you to be a doctor? … go be a nurse like other women – or just get married and be quiet.” (38), Walter completely changed his view, and actually was proud of Beneatha. Making himself a better brother.

Walter Lee Younger makes a commendable change throughout the play. Walter becomes a better man, making himself better suited to be the head of the household. It took him time, but he realized what life was really about. He stood up for the family, showing responsibility, maturity, and love to the family.

* Hansberry, Lorraine . A Raisin in the Sun. 7th. 51. New york: Random House, Inc., 1958. 0-151. Print.

A Raisin in the Sun vs. Julius Caesar

In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun themes, symbols, and characters can be compared. Both A Raisin in the Sun and Julius Caesar were written for the stage; therefore their characters become more obvious and more thoroughly portrayed than in a book, for example. Even though, these works were written by far different authors and in different centuries their similarities and differences are evident. In both A Raisin in the Sun and Julius Caesar themes, symbols, and character development are consistent.

Comparing character development in Julius Caesar and A Raisin in the Sun is beneficial in learning more about each and every character. One of the major characters in A Raisin in the Sun is Mama; a character she can be compared to in Julius Caesar is Calpurnia. Despite Mama has a bigger role in Hansberry’s work and Calpurnia’s role in Shakespeare’s work is not as powerful as Mama, similarities are still evident.

One way they are similar is in their authority over one person or a few people in general, their families to be more specific. In A Raisin in the Sun, Mama has a strong opinion regarding her beliefs. She stands up for them and stresses respect. Mama is also the head of the Younger household. She reminds everyone who is living with her the difference between right and wrong. However, Mama seems to be a bit more concerned with what Walter is always doing. Walter is her eldest son. In the same way, Calpurnia stresses what she believes in. Similar to how Mama watches out for her son Walter, Calpurnia tries to warn her husband, Julius Caesar, against evil and something awful that has a potential of happening. Mama shows her authority over Walter when she gives him the responsibility of putting away a share of the money, “Listen to me, son. I say I been wrong, son. That I been doing to you what the rest of the world been doing to you. (She turns of the radio) Walter—(She stops and he looks up slowly at her and she meets his eyes pleadingly)

What you ain’t never understood is that I ain’t got nothing, don’t own nothing ain’t never really wanted nothing that wasn’t for you. There ain’t nothing as precious to me…There ain’t nothing worth holding on to, money, dreams, nothing else—if it means—if it means it’s going to destroy my boy. (She takes an envelope out of her handbag and puts it in front of him and he watches her without speaking or moving) I paid the man thirty-five hundred down on the house. That leaves sixty-five hundred dollars. Monday morning I want you to take this money and take three thousand and put it in a savings account for Beneatha’s medical schooling. The rest you put in a checking account—with your name on it. And from now on any penny that come out of it or go in it is for you to look after. For you to decide. (She drops her hands a little helplessly) It ain’t much, but it’s all I got in the world and I’m putting it in your hands.

I’m telling you to be the head of this family from now on like you supposed to be” (Hansberry 106-107). In a similar way Calpurnia takes authority over Julius Caesar, “Alas my lord, your wisdom is consumed in confidence. Do not go forth to-day; call it my fear that keeps you in the house, and not your own. We’ll send Mark Antony to the senate-house; and he shall say you are not well to-day; let me, upon my knee, prevail in this” (Shakespeare 2.2). Both Calpurnia and Mama take authority over someone. Due to the fact that both tasks were not taken seriously both Walter and Caesar run into turmoil later in the literary work. In Walter’s case, he doesn’t do as Mama says and loses his and Beneatha’s money as well as people’s trust in him (Hansberry 127-128). In Caesar’s case, him not staying home and returning to the senate against his wife’s will, Caesar is greeted with his death (Shakespeare 3.1). In both works of literature, symbolism is commonly used.

Some of the symbols used in A Raisin in the Sun are Mama’s plant, Beneatha’s hair, and the check Mama receives after her husband dies. In Raisin in the Sun, Mama’s plant represents her dreams and the rest of her family’s dreams. A result of this would be Mama always making sure to take extra care of her plant and to nourish it well. On the other hand, Mama’s check represents all of the hard work that her husband achieved and how hard he had to work to actually obtain that amount of money. Beneatha’s hair symbolizes the assimilationist beliefs of the time and how people become inferior to the dominant race. When Beneatha returns her hair to its natural state it symbolizes that she is against common assimilation beliefs. The symbolism of her hair is evident in a conversation between her and Asagai, “’(Coming to her at the mirror)

I shall have to teach you how to drape it properly. (He flings the material about her for the moment and stands back to look at her) Ah—Oh-pay-gay-day, oh-gaha-mu-shay. (A Yoruba exclamation for admiration) You wear it well…very well…mutilated hair and all.’ ‘(Turning suddenly) My hair—what’s wrong with my hair?’ ‘(Shrugging) Were you born with it like that?’ ‘(Reaching up to touch it) No…of course not. (She looks back to the mirror, disturbed)’ ‘(Smiling) How then?’ ‘You know perfectly well how…as crinkly as yours…that’s how’” (Hansberry 61-62). The symbols used in Julius Caesar are omens, pain, and the conspirators bathing in Caesar’s blood. In Julius Caesar, omens symbolize evil and warn people against evil and bad things that could happen, possibly fatal things.

By the conspirators bathing or washing their hands in Caesar’s blood they are symbolizing that they are taking responsibility for ridding Rome of its ‘terrible’ leader. Portia, Brutus’s wife, uses the symbol of pain to show how much she loves Brutus, that she is loyal to him, and he can trust her. Portia harshly kills herself by swallowing hot coals because Brutus refuses to share anything with her, “No man bears sorrow better. That tidings came. With this she fell distract and, her attendants absent, swallo’d fire (Shakespeare 4.3 147, 155-156). By using symbolism Hansberry and Shakespeare made their readers and audience think with depth and understanding. In A Raisin in the Sun, several themes are covered throughout the play; the same goes for Julius Caesar. Even though there are many themes in these works of literature there are two that stand out and can be compared. The themes that are similar between A Raisin in the Sun and Julius Caesar are pride and the role of men and women in society and the house. In A Raisin in the Sun pride is theme because the Younger family doesn’t have much but they have their pride.

Throughout the play their pride is tested but they never hesitate to speak their minds. When Mama buys a house in a white neighborhood they are a bit hesitant at first but are happy in the end. They show their pride concerning this situation when a representative from Clybourne Park comes and asks them to sell the house back but in the end they don’t and kick Linder out of their house. Pride is very evident in the conversation between Walter, Linder, and Ruth, “’(Putting on his glasses and drawing a form out of the briefcase) Our association is prepared, through the collective effort of our people, to buy the house from you at a financial gain to your family.’

‘Lord have mercy, ain’t this the living gall!’ ‘All right, you through?’ ‘Well, I want to give you the exact terms of the financial arrangement—’ ‘We don’t want to hear no exact terms of no arrangements. I want to know if you got any more to tell us ‘bout getting together?’ ‘(Taking off his glasses) Well—I don’t suppose that you feel…’ ‘Never mind how I feel—you got any more to say ‘bout how people ought to sit down and talk to each other? … Get out of my house, man. (He turns his back and walks to the door) (Hansberry 118-119). Even though pride is a similar theme between Julius Caesar and A Raisin in the Sun, the pride in Julius Caesar is different than that in A Raisin in the sun.

Works Cited

Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. New York: Vintage, 1994. Print. “Julius Caesar Theme of Pride.” Shmoop. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2013. “A Raisin in the Sun Theme of Pride.” Shmoop. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2013. “Play ScriptJulius Caesar.” Full Text / Script of the Play Julius Caesar Act I by William Shakespeare. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2013.

A Raisin in the Sun: Poem of Insecurities

The dreams of the characters in the Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry illustrated the theme of Langston Hughes poem. Lena, Walter, Ruth, and Beneatha all lived under the same roof, but their aspirations were all different. Being the head of the house, Lena just wanted her children to live the lives they imagined for themselves. Walter’s dream was to invest his mother’s money in a liquor store and to create a better life for his son Travis.

Beneatha in the other hand wants to use her mother’s money to become a doctor when she got out of college and Ruth wants to be wealthy. A Raisin in the Sun was a book about “dreams deferred” and in this book Loraine Hansberry fluently described the dreams of the Younger Family and how their dreams became a destructive weapon on their family.

Lena Younger, Walter and Beneatha’s mother was a widow who devoted her life to her children after her husband died.

When she retired she was waiting for her husband’s insurance money to arrive. With the ten thousand dollars in her hand, Lena decided to buy a 3500 dollar house at Clybourne Park and she was also going to put some money in the bank for Beneatha so she could go to medical school. Those were her dreams, they were so simple and ordinary and also beautiful. She expected everyone to be delighted and surprised of the things she had done with the check and indeed they were, except for Walter.

While Lena got her pie in the sky, Walter was upset his mother had spent the insurance money on the house and thought it wasn’t fair that Beneatha got some of it for her medical school while he got nothing for his liquor store business. Walter always discussed his dream thoroughly to his family and talked about how it would make their lives different, but Lena, who always wanted her son to be happy, trustingly gave the rest of the insurance money to Walter. Holding the money in his hands, Walter thanked his mother and appreciated the trust she had in him. Walter then gave the money to his buddies so that they could get him the liquor license without realizing that they betrayed him.

This is how a dream can become destructive for others. As his dream crumbled into pieces, he began to regret that he didn’t listen to his mother, wife, and sister. He not only destroyed Beneatha and his dream but Ruth’s as well. Ruth was pregnant during his moment in despair and forgave and encouraged him to start everything over. Ruth, whose dream was to be wealthy and to have a fine family, calmly accepted the fact that her dream was only a dream. To her, it was a consolation that her husband had come back to reality after his unsuccessful dream. It is not essential to keep a dream alive, reason why is because if you don’t accomplish your reverie you’ll spend your whole life complaining about it. Ruth was not about to do that, she sucked it up and forgave Walter.

Beneatha was upset to hear that Walter didn’t put anything in the bank for her medical school. Sad and depressed that the reality turned out differently from her dream, Beneatha gave up hope of becoming a doctor. Fortunately, her friend Asagai kept her dream alive and convinced her that there was still hope and ream in the world and that she should forget about the money because if her father did not die then she would have never gotten the chance. So Beneatha went with Asagai to his homeland, Nigeria, to practice her medical career.

Conclusively, the family forgot their despair and moved to the new house for a new life. Although they knew it was tough to start everything over, but for them, it was as if their lives had just begun. Lorraine Hansberry had successfully illustrated the four main characters in the story as human beings with desires, dreams, aspirations, conflict, foibles, and strength. And it was “A Raisin in the Sun” that expressed those dreams and desires and how they ended up as “dreams deferred.”