A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

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“A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry is a play about an African-American family, who faces discrimination and financial struggles, but still remains united throughout their journey in buying a new home. Just like the Youngers, people create lifelong goals and dreams, in which they want to accomplish. When they do not fulfill their dreams, it simply becomes “a raisin in the sun” because just like a raisin loses its juice when kept outside for too long, a dream loses its significance as well. The Younger family all have distinctive dreams and throughout the play, they do not realize the importance of family until their dreams became deferred. The title “A Raisin in the Sun” is a representation of all the characters’ dreams being deferred.
In addition, the title of Lorraine Hansberry’s play, “A Raisin in the Sun”, was inspired by one of Langston Hughes’ poem, “Harlem.” Hughes asks, “What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up / like a raisin in the sun?” (1-3). This line is significant because it represents what the play is initially about. In the play, he Younger family has distinctive dreams, but only one dream is fulfilled. Hansberry decided to use “a raisin in the sun” as her title because the characters’ dreams were all “raisins” that lost their “taste” because some dreams “exploded,” while others were “syrupy sweet” (Hughes 8). According to Edythe McGovern, author of “A Raisin in the Sun” from the Masterplots II: Women’s Literature Series, Langston Hughes’ “Harlem” poem needs to be considered pivotal in interpreting Hansberry’s play because she managed to create distinctive characters who relate “to such deferment of dreams.” Therefore, Hansberry chose A Raisin in the Sun as the title of her play, inspired by La...

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Hansberry, Lorraine. "A Raisin in the Sun." Literature for Composition. Ed. Sylvan Barnet, William Burto and William E. Cain. 10th ed. New York: Pearson, 2014. 1155-1208. Print. 8 Apr. 2014.
Hughes, Langston. “Harlem.” Literature for Composition. Ed. Sylvan Barnet, William Burto and William E. Cain.10th ed. New York: Pearson, 2014. 136. Print. 8 Apr. 2014.
McGovern, Edythe M. "A Raisin In The Sun." Masterplots II: Women’S Literature Series (1995): 1-3. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 8 Apr. 2014.
Tackach, James. "A Raisin In The Sun." Masterplots II: Juvenile & Young Adult Literature Series, Supplement (1997): 1-2. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 8 Apr. 2014.
Wang, Qun. "A Raisin in the Sun: Overview." Reference Guide to American Literature. Ed. Jim Kamp. 3rd ed. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
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