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A Raisin in the Sun - Historical Background

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Elise Crawford

on 7 December 2012

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Transcript of A Raisin in the Sun - Historical Background

The U.S. in the 1950's A Raisin in the Sun
Historical Background Chicago in the 1950's How does history inform the world of the play? It affects how people perceive each other in the play. Racism was wider spread back in the 1950's and it posed problems for the characters.
History also gives us background information about the time. We understand how it's strange for Beneatha to want to be a doctor and how the jobs everyone had were prominent back then. Also, money was worth more back then. $20 was worth a lot more money back then than it is now. Is the play historically accurate? Yes. The information provided in the play does fit with what was going on in the world and in Chicago at the time. Is it important whether or not the play is historically accurate? Yes, it is, because we need to be able to relate to the play. Knowing and having a connection to the background of the play makes it more enjoyable and easier to understand. It was in the 1950's that soldiers were coming home from fighting in WWII. They had to start families and get jobs again. Segregation was also a big issue back in the 1950's. It wasn't until 1954 that segregation in schools was ruled unconstitutional by the supreme court. Chicago is up in the north, so people were slightly more tolerant of African Americans than they were in the south, but Chicago was clearly divided into white and black neighborhoods, along with neighbor hoods for other minorities. Is this play dated? No, we don't believe so, because we read it and understood and could relate to it even today. What is Hansberry saying about the 1950's? She was saying that the 1950's were a hard time for some people, but they were also a time for change and it was when things were starting to become more modern.
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