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A Raisin in the Sun

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Jasmine Miller

on 12 May 2014

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Transcript of A Raisin in the Sun

A Raisin in the Sun
About Lorraine Hansberruy
Lorraine Hansberruy was the first African American woman to write a play that was performed on broadway (which was A Raisin in the Sun).
She was the youngest of four children.
Her family had struggled against segregation.
She attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she immediately became politically active and integrated a dormitory.
Decided in 1950 to leave Madison and pursue her career as a writer in New York City, where she attended The New School.
In 1951, she joined the staff of the black newspaper Freedom as a "subscription clerk, receptionist, typist and editorial assistant", edited by Louis E. Burnham and published by Paul Robeson.
On June 20, 1953, she married Robert Nemiroff, a Jewish publisher, songwriter and political activist.
It is widely believed that Hansberry was a closeted lesbian, a theory supported by her secret writings in letters and personal notebooks.
On her religious views, Hansberry was an atheist.
After a battle with pancreatic cancer she died on January 12, 1965, aged 34. Hansberry's funeral was held in Harlem on January 15, 1965.
Hansberry's ex-husband, Robert Nemiroff, became the executor for several unfinished manuscripts
Social Issues
Walter Lee Younger
Ruth Younger
Travis Younger
Character Analysis
Reviews/ Critiques
A Dream Deferred:
Connection to Play
Lorraine Hansberruy
The Younger family anxiously awaits the arrival of a life insurance check.
The entire family lives within the walls of a tiny apartment and the play takes place entirely in its worn out, lived-in living room.
Travis, the young son of Ruth and Walter Lee, sleeps on the couch in the living room.
Walter Lee and Beneatha are Lena's children.
Walter Lee is married to Ruth, and works as a chauffeur, while Beneatha, plans to study to become a doctor.
Each member of the family wants to do something different with the money, and therefore, waits anxiously for his/her new lifeto start.
Rising Action
Ruth discovers that she is pregnant.
Mama makes a down payment on a house.
Mama gives Walter the remaining insurance money.
Walter invests the money in the liquor store venture.
Falling Action
Walter refuses Mr. Lindner’s offer to sell their house back.
The Youngers move out of the apartment to their new house in the white neighborhood.
Beneatha finds new strength in Asagai.
Bobo tells Walter that Willy has run off with all of the invested insurance money.
Asagai makes Beneatha realize that she is not as independent as she think.
Plot Analysis
Main Characters
Walter Lee Younger
The protagonist of the play. Walter is tired of living the way that he has for almost all his life. He wants to get rich quick so he joins into a business scheme with his friends. Walter loses the rest of his father's insurance money that his mother gives to him. Walter is a dreamer who would crush others just to fulfill his.
Beneatha is an intellectual. Twenty years old, she attends college and is better educated than the rest of the Younger family. Her beliefs and point of views concern and anger her mother sometimes.Beneatha dreams to e a doctor but struggles to determine her identity.
The peacemaker of the family. Mama is religious, moral, and maternal. She wants to use her husband’s insurance money as a down payment on a house with a backyard to fulfill her dream for her family to move up in the world.
Ruth Younger
Stayed at home and cleaned. She didn't believe much in Walter's dreams because he had many he didn't comit to. When Ruth found out she was was pregnant she had a hard time decding on rather she would keep the baby. The end decision was to keep the baby and raise it in the new family home.
Character played by P. Diddy
Character played by Sanaa Lathan
In this story Walter takes his family for granted. He gets money hungry and instead of bettering his sister's future he makes it undecided. This causes Beneatha to deny Walter as a brother. When Walter realizes what he did was wrong he tells Mr.Linder that they are keeping the house and not accepting his money. When the Youngers begin to put the family and the family’s wishes before their own, they merge their individual dreams with the family’s overarching dream.
Family is more important than Wealth
Travis Younger
The title of the play references a conjecture that Langston Hughes posed in a poem he wrote about dreams that were forgotten or put on hold. He wonders whether those dreams shrivel up “like a raisin in the sun.” Every member of the Younger family has a different, individual dream. Beneatha wants to become a doctor, and Walter wants to have money so that he can afford things for his family. The Youngers struggle to attain these dreams throughout the play, and much of their happiness and depression is directly related to their attainment of, or failure to attain, these dreams. By the end of the play, they learn that the dream of living in their own house is the most important dream because it unites the family.
Value of Dreams
Dignity and Pride
Mama expresses pride in her family’s background and tries to inspire her children to have a sense of respect for their ancestors. The Youngers’ sense of pride gives them the strength to reject Karl Lindner’s offer to buy back their new home. The Youngers refuse to forfeit their dignity in pursuit of economic gain. Although, they broke down from time to time such as when Walter got drunk and started chanting with Beneatha, the characters managed to get back on their feet and move on with dignity.

In this time period women didn't have as many rights as men especially African American women. Benatha's future was questioned a lot because no one expected her to be a doctor based on her gender. Ruth was not thought of as a equal to her husband. Walter rationalized that women always try to keep men from achieving their goals or any dreams that they may have for that matter.
The Youngers were faced with racism frequently. When they first went to their new house in Clybourne Park the neighbors weren't so friendly they looked at them as if they were disgusted. Mr. Linder from the Clybourne Park Improvement Association tried his best to get the Youngers out of his "all white" neighborhood. He refered to the Youngers as "you people."
A Dream Deferred
by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
In "A Raisin in the Sun"&"A Dream Deferred," it is talking about how people have dreams but not all of them are fulfilled some are postponed or put off. Hughes uses the title of the play in his poem to personificate what might happens to a dream.
Chicago Sun-Times
Eddy Weiss-It's a beauty in many ways richer than the Broadway production and should not be missed.
Hal Boedeker-ABC's new version of A Raisin in the Sun deserves fanfare: It's a strong contender for best TV movie of the season
Orlando Sentinel
Dorothy Rabinowitz-This three-hour production, starring most of the cast of the 2004 Broadway revival, flies by with lightning speed--and that cast led by Ms. Rashad, superbly authoritative, impossibly attractive as Lena, is no small part of the reason. Ms. McDonald is heartbreaking as Ruth, desperate to understand her husband's descent into misery, and Mr. Combs, who portrays that husband, delivers a sterling performance.
Wall Street Journal
Ken Tucker-The whole production is a model of subtle adaptation.
Entertainment Weekly
Alan Sepinwall-Those three performances are so good that they lift up everyone around them, whether it's Combs (best whenever he has Rashad or McDonald to spar with) or John Stamos, surprisingly subtle in what could be a thankless role as the white man who doesn't want the Youngers moving into his neighborhood.
Newark Star-Ledger
Robert Lloyd-The play, and the production, might have been better served by rolling a few cameras into the theater, but I know that isn't how people like to do these things.
Los Angeles Times
Walter and Ruth’s sheltered young son. Travis likes to earn money by carrying grocery bags and likes to play outside with other neighborhood children, but he has no bedroom and sleeps on the living-room sofa. He doesn't quite understand every situation in the story but he is expected to follow the families' generation very well.
Character played by Justin Martin
Character played by Phylicia Rashad
Character played by Audra McDonald
Trailer of the movie
Younger family stay in the house.
Mama tells everyone to love Walter no matter what he did and to overcome losing the money.
The Youngers don't give up they continue to work hard and live life
Jasmine Miller
Labresha Rambo
Teresa Sanchez
Kedarion Kennedy
Torrian Johnson
Ms.Linwood 6th period
Full transcript