Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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Part A: One striking aspect in “A Raisin in the Sun” was in Act II Scene III, when Bobo gives Walter the news that Willy went off with the money for the liquor business. I honestly did not think that would happen. I respected Willy to be one of Walter’s good friends. I thought they would invest in the liquor business together and make good money. I was in total disbelief when Bobo announced the bad news.
Also in Act III, I did not expect Walter to change his mind about accepting Mr. Linder’s “exchange”. I was totally surprised to find out Walter finally “comes into his manhood” with his decision. My perception of him changed for the better. For once throughout the entire play, I was proud of what Walter did.

Part B: Does A Raisin on the Sun present timeless issues?
No, A Raisin in the Sun presents many issues that are still common today. For example, my families today go through hard times such as deciding to have an abortion. Ruth became pregnant and actually put a down payment for an abortion. During the 1950’s abortions were illegal, making her decision even harder. Abortions are difficult decisions many women face today as well.
Another issue still common today are problems in marriage. At one point in the play Walter and Ruth’s love for one another was questioned. They fought badly at times, thus their marriage was heading in the wrong direction. In today’s society 50% of marriages end in divorce indicating major problems with the partners.
Lastly, racism still exists today. The Youngers faced racism before they even moved into their new house when Mr. Linder offers the Youngers money in exchange for moving somewhere else. Mr. Linder and the rest of the white community thought this decision was for the best for the community. Mr. Linder gives them the offer without even giving the family a chance, thus showing prejudice.





















Justina Klecha

Intro to Literature 150-26

Professor Clovia Feldman

February 15, 2005

Exploration of the Text


How does the urban setting establish the atmosphere and mood of the play?

     The urban setting establishes the perfect atmosphere. If the setting were in a rural area, the mood of the play would be different. Jobs for example, would be harder to have and maintain. This would cause more tension and problems with the family. Transportation would also have been more difficult. In the urban setting, automobiles were available as transportation.

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For example, Walter borrowed a car when he was depressed and didn’t go to work for three days.
Also in the new community, the Clybourne Park Improvement Association played a big part. Walter considered not even moving into their new house because of the racism they would be faced with. The Youngers were obviously not welcome by their new neighbors. Different levels of racism are exposed in rural and in city settings. Communities in urban setting seem to team up and work together. Urban settings are not too crowded or to scattered, therefore the communities are stronger.

Explore the primary conflicts of the play. What escalates the tension among the characters?
The primary conflicts of the play involve every member of the Younger family’s individual dreams. They all struggle to reach their dreams through out the play. For example, Beneatha wants to become a doctor, Walter wants to have money so that he can afford things for his family, and mama wants a new house with a garden.
Financial struggles are also the root of the Younger’s conflicts. The Youngers face difficult times due to money. Walter dislikes his job so much, during his depression, he decided not to go to work. He refers to it as a “slave job”. The Youngers live in a small apartment in which they share a bathroom and Travis sleeps in the living room. They managed to get used to their apartment simply because they cannot afford anything better.
Another conflict involves the Youngers struggle against racial prejudice.
Before they even move into their new house, Mr. Linder proposes an offer. Their new community is a white neighborhood and neighbors would prefer for it to stay that way. This causes a big fight with the family as Walter considers the offer.
When Walter loses the rest of the money to Willy, the tension in the family rises. Now not only can Walter not pursue his liquor dream business, but Beneatha’s school money is also gone. Now their dreams seem further away. None of the Youngers feel pity for Walter as Ruth and Beneatha feel depressed when they found out. Mama becomes extremely upset and beats Walter. Her actions show how devastated she was.

How does Walter change in Act Three? What other conflicts within characters are resolved in this act?
In Act III, Walter shows a major change. Throughout the play Walter seemed to be a rather stubborn and difficult person. He was obsessed with money and wanted to rich badly. His “dreams” and ideas about being a real man caused fights with the family. Walter, for the first time in Act III, showed he matured and “comes into his manhood” with his decision to reject Mr. Linder’s offer. His pride and work became more important to him than this dream of money. Also for the first time, his family showed to be very proud of Walter.
     Beneatha finding happiness is another conflict resolved in Act III. Beneatha had doubts on becoming a doctor. Asagi tells Beneatha about his dream to return to Africa. He gets her excited and asks her to go home with him to Africa. With the help of Asagi, Beneatha renews her courage and pride. She shows happiness as she accepts Asagi and rejects George Murchison.
     Mama also finds happiness when she realizes her dream is coming true.
She finally has her new house she always wanted. She carries her plant out with her as she remembers and cherishes the memories in the apartment the family lived in for so long.
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