Raisin in the Sun
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
- 1st play about an average African American Family
- “Black is Beautiful”
- Abortion was a topic of the play
- New York Drama Critics Circle Award, 1959, for A Raisin in the Sun
- Cannes Film Festival special award, 1961, for A Raisin in the Sun (screenplay)
“A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
Chicago Housing Project
The Younger’s Apartment
The Younger Family (4 adults and 1 child) all live in a two bedroom apartment in Chicago.
The Value of Dreams
The Importance of Family
Drama-Play and Movie
The play is autobiographical.
Her family was involved in a lawsuit to break up racial discrimination in Chicago’s white neighborhoods.
“Eat your Eggs”
The plant represents Mama’s care for the family and her dreams for a better future, a house. She is always taking care of the plant. The plant does not get enough water or light in their apartment.
Mama’s husband has died
She has just inherited his $10,000 life insurance policy
The matriarch of the family
Mama, wants to buy a house to fulfill a dream she shared with her husband.
Walter Lee Younger
Walter Lee, works as a chauffer
He wants to use the money to invest in a liquor store with his friends.
He believes that the investment will solve the family’s financial problems forever
Walter wants to be the man of the family and provide for them all.
He begs his mother to let him have the insurance money.
Ruth, agrees with Mama’s dream
Ruth does not always support Walter’s dream
Ruth and Walter Lee love each other, but have different dreams.
They worry about being poor and not having enough money for the future.
Ruth finds out she is pregnant and thinks about having an illegal abortion because the family is poor.
Beneatha is going to college.
She wants to be a successful Black woman, a doctor.
She wants to embrace her African heritage.
Walter and Ruth’s son
Travis sleeps on the couch and plays with rats in the street.
Wants Beneatha to become a doctor, marry him and move to Africa.
A wealthy Black man wants to date Beneatha.
He has assimilated into White Society to be successful
Ignores his Black heritage.
From the Clybourne Park Improvement Association.
The only white character in the play.
Offers the Younger family money to stay out of his all-white neighborhood.
One of Walter’s partners in the liquor store plan.
Bobo appears to be as mentally slow as his name indicates.
A friend of Walter and coordinator of the liquor store plan.
Willy never appears onstage.
He steals money from Walter Lee and the Younger Family.
The Youngers’ neighbor.
Mrs. Johnson takes advantage of the Youngers’ hospitality
Warns them about moving into a white neighborhood.