Risen in the Sun

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Biography

Lorrain Hansberry was born in 1930 in Chicago to the parent of Carl and Nannie Perry Hansberry. In 1953 she married Robert Nemiroff. She studied as the University of Wisconsin for four years where she studied art. (www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Lorraine) Hansberry was the first black woman to have a play produced on Broadway. That play was a Raisin in the Sun and to this day is still considered to be a classic. A raisin in the sun was voted the Best Play of the Year award by New York Drama Critics Circle in 1959. Gerald Weales wrote “Had the Raisin in the Sun won because it was the best play of the year, or because its author, Lorraine Hansberry, is a Negro? “ He also goes on to say: The first Negro woman to have a play on Broadway had its influence on the voting critics. Gerald Weales also stated that the play was a good play, but that it may not be the best during its time. He states “Tennessee Williams’ Sweet bird of Youth should have received it if it was going to be based on merit alone.” (www.commentarymagazine.com)

Summary

A raisin in the sun is a play set in the 1950s about the life of a black family named Younger. The family is faced with many issues of life as they all have recently become free but they are struggling to get out of poverty and become successful during a racial time period. The deceased father is portrayed as a hard-working, upright man who dies and leaves his wife with a $10,000.00 insurance policy check. The family members each dream of what is the best way to spend the money which would benefit the family. (http://newbiecritics.wordpress.com) The Raisin in the sun is a well-written play that shows how money can bring a family together or tear it apart. Ironically the loss of money in this play brought the family closer together once it was gone and forced Walter Lee Jr. to finally grow up and mature.

Thesis

Deferred dreams tend to make different people act different ways; it may cause one to dry up, fester, sag, or explode.

Characters

Beneatha was a different character who, in her own way, was trying to fit in the new type of world. Being of a young age and not having to go through as many changes as her mama went through, she is struggling with her own true identity. When she first meets George she is only impressed by his African heritage. She is really not as selfish person and depends on herself. She is a little consumed with herself as she does not give any credit back to God. Walter Lee Younger Jr. describes himself best in the play as he states” I’m thirty-five years old, I have been married eleven years and I got a boy who sleeps in the living room, and all I got to give him is stories about how rich white people live-“(Hansberry, 1777) Walter is a person who wants more out of life than the normal everyday family life. He is not content with his current way of living but feels he is settling for less. However, this does not give him motivation to improve himself; he constantly blames his life on others. Walter Lee Jr. attempts to builds his dreams someone else good fortune. When he can have his way you can see he gets frustrated he yells, he explodes, he festers, like a raisin in the sun. He’s determined to invest money (which does not belong to him) instead of working and saving for his own investment. He grows bitter and does not appreciate or respect the family he already has. He spends his whole life living off of his mother and father. He has a wife but moves the wife in with his parents. His character is symbolic of a leech. He is not satisfied until he invests the money, against his mothers will, and loses it all. Now after disappointment and regret, he was finally given the chance to live what he was dreaming of and fails. After experiencing failure, Walter then grows and can be seen as a positive leech which is used to suck up blood in surgery. Now he has matured from a grape into a raisin and can be beneficial to the body, which is...
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