Hansberry got the title of “A Raisin in the Sun” from a line in Langston Hughes’s famous 1951 poem “Harlem: A Dream Deferred”. The title of the play references a conjecture in a poem about dreams that were forgotten or put off. Hansberry’s reference to this poem in her title spotlights the importance of dreams in this play. It also brings to light the struggle that each character faces to realize their individual dreams. In the play, the main characters struggle to deal with the oppressive circumstances that rule their lives. A struggle inextricably tied to the underlying black dream of equality in America.
“When Raisin first appeared in 1959, the Civil Rights Movement was in its earlier stages. And as a document reflecting the essence of those struggles, the play is unexcelled” (Baraka 10). Hansberry explores not only the tension between the black and white society and ...
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...wn, they merge their individual desires with the family’s overarching dream. They learn that the dream of a house is the most important dream because it brings the family together. The Youngers move out of the apartment, fulfilling the family’s long-held dream. Although their future is uncertain, they remain optimistic and determined to live a better life. Their belief is that they can succeed if they remain united as a family and resolve to defer their dreams no longer.
Baraka, Amiri. “A Critical Reevaluation: A Raisin in the Sun's Enduring Passion.”
A Raisin in the Sun: Unabridged 25th Anniversary Edition and The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window. Ed. Robert Nemiroff. New York: Penguin, 1987. 9-20.
Nemiroff, Robert, ed. A Raisin in the Sun: Unabridged 25th Anniversary Edition and The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window. New York: Penguin, 1987.
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