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A Raisin in the Sun

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Luke Lovejoy

on 15 November 2013

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Transcript of A Raisin in the Sun

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
A Raisin in the Sun
Characterization
1.) How is the Americn Dream expressed in each member of the Younger family: Walter, Ruth, Lena (Mama) and Beneatha?
They all yearn for better lives either filled with love, money or high social status.
2.) Describe each member of the Youger family. What type of man was Mr.Younger? What type of man is Walter? What types of women are Lena, Ruth, and Beneatha? Which of these characters are static? Which are dynamic?
Static- Mr. Younger was strict but he loves his children
Dynamic- Walter is hard to get along with and is generally nasty. He says rude things to his wife, mother, and isters but always treats his son like gold.
Dynamic- Mama is a down to Earth, hard working black woman who doesn't deal with fools.
Dynamic- Ruth is an average woman of the fifties awho does housework and keeps her thoughts and dreams to herself.
Dynamic- Beneatha is a young student who is trying to become a doctor and is made fun of by her family for her "self-expression"
3.) How do the supporting charactesr, George Murchinson and Joseph Asaigai, add to our understanding of the Younger family members?
That they are close to their own and are a bit different than average African families.
Plot Outline
1.) Exposition/situation
The Youngers are getting a check for the death of their father.
2.) Rising Action
The family argues with what to do with the money.
3.) Complication
Ruth gets pregnant and thinks of abortion but Mama takes half of the money and buys a home in a good neighborhood so the family can grow.
4.) Climax
Willy steals the rest of the money on a scam will fall into.
5.) Falling Action
The Younger move out of the apartment into the new home.
6.) Resolution
They believe that they can succeed if they stick together as a family and resolve to defy their dreams no longer.

Plot
1.) Explain the existing conflicts between the Younger family members, Mama and Walter, Walter and Ruth, and Walter and Beneatha. How are these conflicts associated with the American Dream?
Mama and Walter conflicted over the check and how Walter felt she cared about Beneatha more.
Walter and Ruth were slowly working on a loveless marriage caught up in arguments over money, family, and friends.
Walter and Beneatha always argued over general brother and sister things. Walter believed his mother loved Beneatha much more than her.
These arguments are all usually about money or falls back to money, the number one hope of the American Dream.
2.) What is the central conflict around which the play revolves? How does this central conflict relate to the notion of the American Dream?
The conflict is about having such greed of money that you can break your family apart. Money is not everything, family is.

Symbolism
Symbolism helps better understand the play because they help you get the underlying meaning behind the author's writing. People, such as: Asaigai, George and Mr. Lind are symbols because their characters represent what they teach the Younger family. Objects, like Beneatha's hair, the new house and the insurance policy money represent their hopes and dreams for a better future and their heritage. Lena's plant represents the love and care she has for her family.
Allusion
Promethus was a Greek god who was punished for bringing fire to mortals, was chained to Mt. Caucasus where every day an eagle tore his lover out and every night it grew back. His suffering lasted thousands of years until Hercules freed him. WAlter, is also metaphoricaly chained and his dreams restore what his frustration devours. Walter never gets freed though. Walter feels chained to his family and is frustrated because they never see any economical growth. Walter looks to money as Promethus looked to Hercules, waiting for the American Dream of being rich.
Theme
"We ain't business people Ruth, we just plain working folks"
"Once upon a time freedom used to be life now money is life"
These quotes show the divide between Mama and her son, Walter. Walter feels she is holding him back due to her lack of understanding the American Dream. The American dream was all about money, it used to be African Americans having freedom and not having the fear of slavery and now they have to worry about being poor.
Full transcript