Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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Lorraine Hansberry took the title of A Raisin in the Sun from a line in Langston Hughes’s famous 1951 poem “Harlem: A Dream Deferred.” Hansberry wrote that she always felt the inclination to record her experiences. At times, her writing—including A Raisin in the Sun—is recognizably autobiographical. A Raisin in the Sun was a revolutionary work for its time. Hansberry creates in the Younger family one of the first honest depictions of a black family on an American stage, in an age when predominantly black audiences simply did not exist. In Hansberry’s work, A Raisin in the Sun, two significant themes in the work are the importance of family and the home. The Youngers struggle socially and economically throughout the play but unite in the end to realize their dream of buying a house. Mama strongly believes in the importance of family, and she tries to teach this value to her family as she struggles to keep them together and functioning. Walter and Beneatha learn this lesson about…show more content…
The lighting seems to change with the mood, and with only one window, the apartment is a small, often dark area in which all the Youngers—at one time or another—feel cramped. While some of the play’s action occurs outside of the apartment, the audience sees this action play out in the household. Most of what happens outside of the apartment includes Travis’s playing out in the street with the rat and Walter’s drinking and delinquency from work. The home is a galvanizing force for the family, one that Mama sees as crucial to the family’s unity. The audience sees characters outside the family—Joseph Asagai, George Murchison, Mrs. Johnson, Mr. Lindner, and Bobo—only when they visit the apartment. These characters become real through their interactions with the Youngers and the Youngers’ reactions to them. The play ends, fittingly, when Mama, lagging behind, finally leaves the
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