A Raisin in the Sun

By: Isabella, Kaitlyn, Michael, and Terry. English 3, P:8

Thesis Statement

In the play "A Raisin In The Sun" by Lorraine Hansberry the American Dream was shown as attainable and seen how the family was able to achieve their goals with hard work and determination due to them overcoming all of the obstacles with their struggle of racial discrimination.

Theme analysis:

We feel the overall theme of the play was racial discrimination because of the many conflicts the Youngers encountered due to their skin color. Examples of this would be when Mr. Linder had went to the Youngers apartment to try and bribe them not to move into a house where the neighbors did not want them (Hansberry 119). This connects to our theme because they couldn't pursue their dreams to moving into the house due to the white people not wanting any colored people to live in the same neighborhood as them. Also, when Beneatha does not want Mama to ask Asagai a whole bunch of ignorant questions like others do when they notice he is different from Americans (Hansberry 57). This an example as well because Beneatha did not want Mama to make him feel uncomfortable asking him questions about why him and his culture differed from theirs.


The play "A Raisin in the Sun" by Lorranie Hansberry has a lot of conflicts but the conflict that makes the most sense is Man vs. Society because the family just wants to do simple tasks throughout their lives, but their skin color is creating problems due to how society was brought up at the time. The Younger family's dream is to be able to have their own house but Mr. Linder tells them that is a bad idea because that is an all white neighborhood. Mr. Linder offers them how ever much money they want to not move into Clybourne Park and to give them back the house. (Hansberry 118-119).

Characterization and Quest for the American Dream

Walter: "Sometimes it's like I can see the future stretched out in front of me- just plain as day. the future, mama. hanging over there at the edge of my days. Just waiting for me- a big, looming space- full of nothing. just waiting for me. but it don't have to be. Mama- sometimes when I'm downtown and I pace them cool, quiet- looking restaurants where them white boys are sitting back and talking 'bout things... sitting there turning deals worth millions of dollars... sometimes I see guys don't look much older than me-" (Hansberry 73-74). This connects because it shows how Walter wants to feel as successful as the white boys are and be able to be in better looking restaurants talking about his dream business.

Mama: "I am afraid you don't understand. my son said we was going to move and there ain't nothing left for me to say. you know how these young folks is nowadays, mister. cant do a thing with 'em! Goodbye" (Hansberry 149). This connects because Mama stood up to Mr. Linder when he was trying make the Youngers not move into the neighborhood due to their skin color.

Mr. Linder: "Well--I don't understand why you people are reacting this way. what do you think you're going to gain by moving into a neighborhood where you just aren't wanted and where some elements- well- people can get awful worked up when they feel that their whole way of life and everything they've ever worked for is threatened" (Hansberry 119). This connects because his dream is for the Youngers not to move into his neighborhood so his neighborhood could stay color free.

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The three symbols that are discussed the most in play are Beneatha's hair, African music/dress, and sunlight. Beneatha's hair is a good symbol throughout the play because Asagai is making fun of how she wears fake hair to fit in with the rest of America. Asagai believes she should be herself instead of worrying about what others will say about her natural self (Hansberry 61-62). Another symbol is when Asagai gives Beneatha a Nigerian robe and records as a present. When George enters the Youngers apartment he hears the music and judges Beneatha for listening to it, she got upset at the fact that George had given up on his own culture (Hansberry 81). The Youngers apartment is a symbol in the play because they don't have any money to buy a new house until the check comes, but the house Mama buys is in Clybourne Park. They don't care because they just want to get out of the apartment and live in a real house. Ruth says how much she wants a better house and that she is tired of cracked walls, cockroaches, and the cramped kitchen and just wants to get out of that miserable apartment (Hansberry 93-94).


Throughout the play "A Raisin in the Sun" racial discrimination played a major role due to the struggles the Youngers faced.

Works Cited

Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun: A Drama in Three Acts. New York: Random House, 1959. Print.

A Raisin in the Sun. Dir. Kenney Leon. Random House, 2008. Film.