A Raisin in the Sun

By: Abbey O'Brien, Megean Borgra, Javier Cortes, Al Cortes

Thesis

In Lorraine Hansberry's Play "A Raisin in the Sun" the American Dream is proved to be attainable for this hard working family even through many obstacles within themselves.

Theme

In our opinion the most prevalent theme found in the play is family values due to conflicts, arguments, and struggles dealing with the insurance check.The overall theme is family values because of the conflicts that they overcome and pass through. “She went out and she bought you a house! You glad about the house? It’s going to be yours when you get to be a man” (pg91). This quote connects to the theme with talking about the money they now have and how Lena wanted to better the family and went to buy them all a house. “It ain’t much, but it’s all I go in the world and I’m putting it in your hands. I’m telling you to be the head of this family from now on like you supposed to be” (pg107). The second quotes connects back by talking about how Lena wants her son Walter to be happy, and if that means she must give him the rest of the money left from his father’s insurance check, then she would do that to see him fulfill his dreams to better off the family.

Conflict~ Man vs. Society

In both the play and the film a recurring conflict between man vs. society was shown. The Younger family had to deal with a lot of racial discrimination involving their jobs and where they lived. With Mama's executive decision to buy a house in Clybourne Park Produced some more social problems. Clybourne park is an all white neighborhood and apparently would like to stay that way due to the fact that the Clybourne Park welcoming committee politely offered to buy the house back from the Younger family.


"Take a more common interest in the life of the community, When they share a common background. I want you to believe me when I tell you that race prejudice simply doesn't enter into it. it is a matter of the people of Clybourne Park believing, rightly or wrongly, as I say, that for the happiness of all concerned that our Negro families are happier when they lived in their own communities." (pg.117-118)

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3 People

Lena

Lena is the mother of two grown kids. She recently retires from doing domestic work in other families houses. She loves to take care of her little plant that expresses her and gives hope to the family. Mama gives the money to Walter because she saw how he was falling apart and she trusted him to do the right thing. When she finds out the money is gone she prays to the lord to give her and her family strength to get through what happened. She doesn’t agree with what Walter wants to do with Lindner and the house business deal.


In the movie A Raisin in the Sun Mama (Lena) was portrayed by a strong willed woman. The actress is what you would expect the character to look and act like. She had the attitude that you got from the play. However in the play mama seemed to have been brought up as older, and in the movie didn’t seem to be the age as portrayed. The clothing she also wore was the type you would except her to wear, wasn’t fancy and super nice, you could tell her clothing was older, and worn out more.

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Walter

Walter is married with Ruth and they have a kid named Travis, they all live with Walter’s mom in her apartment. Walter wants to start a liquor business with Bobo and Willy Harris in the Southside of Chicago. Walter gives all the money away that they had left from the insurance check to Willy Harris. He then tries having a deal with Lindner about selling the house, but later changes his mind and steps up to becoming the man of the house with their family pride.
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Beneatha

Beneatha is the daughter of Lena and lives in the same apartment with Walter, Ruth, Travis, and her mom. Beneatha’s dream ever since a kid was to become a doctor to help cure people. She goes to medical school where she met Asagai. After Walter loses the money from the insurance check she loses hope of becoming a doctor. Asagai asks her to marry him and move back to Africa to Nigeria.


In the play, Beneatha chops off her hair, in the movie, she doesn’t. In the play, Beneatha is someone who likes to speak her mind, and doesn’t let anyone stop her, but in the movie, she was just straight up sassy.

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3 Items

Mama's Plant

Mama's Plant represents her hopes and dreams for herself and her family, she wishes to one day have an actual garden. The plant is also something for Mama to take care of because her own children don't need her as much because they are fully grown.

"Mama you gonna take that raggedy looking old thing to the new house? ... It expresses ME!" (pg.121)


In both the play and the movie the plant was very important to mama and who she was as a person.

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Walter's Eggs

When Walter talks to about his plans for the future his hopes and dreams his wife Ruth keeps mentioning his eggs to try and bring him back to reality. the scrambled eggs also represents how simple and basic their life is and how their family doesn't have much.

"Man say to his woman: I got me a dream. His woman say: Eat your eggs. Man say: I got to change my life, im choking to death, baby! and his woman say: your eggs is getting cold!" (pg.33-34)


In the movie the eggs scene was a lot more dramatic that just reading it in the play, the actors had a lot more emotion.

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Kitchen Window

The kitchen window is the only window in the apartment. The sunlight that comes through every day gives the family hope for a brighter future. The window itself represents the small chance that the family has to get out of the cramped apartment and into better life.

"Lord, aint nothing as dreary ad the view from this window on a dreary day, is there." (pg.53)


A big difference from the play to the movie was the amount of windows. In the play there is only the one window in the kitchen but in the movie there are multiple windows in the apartment. the Window still has the same significance in both productions.

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Conclusion

The American Dream is demonstrated to be achievable In the play "A Raisin in the Sun" By: Lorraine Hansberry through hard work and dedication.

Works Cited

Hansberry, Lorrainne. A Raisin in the Sun. New York: Vintage, 1958. Print

A Raisin in the Sun. Dir. Kenny Leon. ABC, 2008. Film.