A Raisin in the Sun

Colton Foote, Matt Pesavento, Jacob Rohder and Dae Roberson


In Lorraine Hansberry's play a Raisin in the Sun, the attainablity of the America Dream is prevalent as the Younger family is struggling throughout the hard times but overcoming through family and their relationships due to their impact of family.

Theme Analysis

The most common theme in A Raisin in the Sun is the theme The IMPACT of FAMILY. As Mama put money down on the house she also decides to give a portion of the check to Walter to follow his dream, and gives him a portion to set aside for Benetha to go to medical school. "Listen to me, now. I say I been wrong, son.... now on like you suppose to be" (Hansberry 106-07). As Walter gets the news from Bobo that Willy took the money and ran, in desperation he calls Mr. Lindner and asks him to come by. When he gets there Mama expects her son to take the money but instead he chooses his manhood in the fact he took the house instead of the money. "No. Travis, you stay right here. And you make him understand what you doing, Walter Lee. You teach him good. Like Willy Harris taught you. You show where our five generations done come to. Go ahead, son Go ahead" (Hansberry 147). As Walter goes through his self trials his family is always there to steer him in the right direction, especially his mother.

Man Vs Man

Man vs man is all throughout this play, it is most prevalent with the younger family. The family is against Walter and his selfish dream of owning a liquor especially since he is attempting to use the insurance check for it. The family feel it should be using a house for putting Benetha through medical school and buying a house to get them out of the atrocious apartment.

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Mama's Dream

Mama’s American dream is to buy a nice house where she can give everyone their own room and make everyone happy. “She went out and she bought….you glad about the house” (Hansberry 91). As they are going through hard times of living of this apartment, mama buys a new house so that they can all live comfortably.

Walter's Dream

Walter’s American dream is to become wealthy like the white person he works for so he can provide for his family. “You wouldn’t understand yet, son, but your daddy’s gonna make a transaction…. You just name it son, and I hand you the world!” (Hansberry 108-09).

Benetha's Dream

Benetha’s American dream was to become a doctor and she is not willing to let anyone change her mind. “oh, I probably will….here better understand that!”(Hansberry 50). As Benetha is told that she isn’t going to be a doctor she is determined to be one and her family is to.

Symbolism: Sunlight

The sunlight represents new life for the Younger family and a new beginning as the only black family in Clyde Park. Sunlight is vital to a plant’s survival, so the sunlight is what motivates the Younger family. Mama tends to the plant and cares for it, in the same way that she tends to the family and care for them.

Symbolism: Insurance Check

The insurance check is the Younger family’s chance to escape poverty and make a better life for themselves. Mama’s husband worked himself to death and the insurance check is what he worked his whole life for. The insurance check is the family’s way of helping Walter pay Willy and Bobo the money.

“Yes’m… ten thousand dollars. Gaalee, Grand-mama, you rich.” (Hansberry 69). This quote shows how the check has changed the life of the family, and how they have a chance to do something.

Symbolism: The Youner's Apartment

The Younger’s apartment represents poverty, their struggle, and the South side of Chicago. The apartment is crowded and the furnishings don’t match but the Younger Family is proud. They keep the apartment clean and try to fix it up. Their passion for the apartment helps Walter see how much his family cares.

‘…but we got to MOVE! We got to GET OUT OF HERE!!” (Hansberry 140). This quote shows the families distaste with the apartment and their want to leave.


As there are many themes that may tie into the over all story line the most prevelent in or minds is the impcat of family. The impact of family is shown in all of the Younger family. As stuggling in the hard times there family is always there for each and every one of them.

Works Cited

Hansberry, Lorraine, and Robert Nemiroff. A Raisin in the Sun: The Unfilmed Original Screenplay. New York, NY, U.S.A.: Plume Book, 1992. Print.