A Raisin in the Sun Study Guide

A Raisin in the Sun Study Guide

Original title:
A Raisin in the Sun
May 7th 2002 by Random House (first published 1959)
United States of America
ISBN 0375508333 (ISBN13: 9780375508332)

“A Raisin in the Sun” is a play written by an American writer Lorraine Hansberry. She was born into a family of well-educated African Americans, who were active and successful examples of those who fought racial discrimination and segregation. These events found their reflection in Lorraine’s writing. 

If today talking about tolerance and movement for racial equality has become normal, Lorraine was one of the first to start writing about it publicly in the 1950s and 1960s. “A Raisin in the Sun” is a realistic description of everyday life and morals of a suppressed but essential part of American society. 

The plot of the book is centered around Youngers family who, just like Lorraine’s family, lives in Chicago. The father of the family dies and they are entitled to compensation by a life insurance company. But the views of the family members as to what to do with the money differ. Each of them believes that his or her idea will put the family in a much better position, both financially, socially and spiritually. 

If the mother wants to buy a house, her son is thinking about setting up a liquor store, and the daughter wants to pay for the tuition to attend medical school. They are all decent ideas, but there’s little ability to compromise. In between the differences about what to spend the money on the reader discovers the differences in views of the family members. Not all of them want to assimilate with the whites, have children or even go to school.

At the same time as one of the friends runs off with the money he was supposed to invest in a profitable business, the Youngers get an offer for more money paid in cash immediately. All they need to do is not to move into a neighborhood that simply isn’t ready to host a black family. What will be their final decision and will they all agree to it? Read the book to find out. 

New Essays

Essay: a Raisin in the Sun

essay: A Raisin in the Sun It is a common notion that money doesn’t buy happiness. Or does it? The classic play, “A Raisin in the Sun”, by Lorraine Hansberry seeks to reflect on this idea. The play recounts the story of the Youngers, a poor African American family, who are awaiting the arrival of...

A Raisin in the Sun: Does Money Really Bring Happiness?

Does money really bring happiness? This questions has been asked over and over throughout history yet there is no real answer for it. The only way to know is to learn from experiences. In Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun the characters are caught up in caring too much about money...

A Raisin in the Sun: Character Sketch

Hansberry writes, “Now the once loved pattern of the couch upholstery has to fight to show itself from under acres of crocheted doilies and couch covers which have themselves finally come to be more important than the upholstery” (23). Ruth can easily be compared to the couch in her...

A Raisin in the Sun: Family Unity

In the play A Raisin in the Sun written by Lorraine Hansberry, family unity appears sometimes as the enemy and at other times, it is the friend. As the play progresses the unity of the family is often questioned. In both the play and the film, family unity is often forgotten by the characters...

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