A Raisin in the Sun: An American Classic
The Play That Changed America
A Raisin in the Sun is an award-winning play by Lorraine Hansberry that was first performed in 1959. It tells the story of a struggling African-American family living in a small apartment in Chicago during the 1950s.
The play follows the lives of the Younger family as they grapple with issues of race, identity, and poverty. The play is considered a landmark in American theater, and is often praised for its powerful themes and exploration of the African-American experience.
The Plot of A Raisin in the Sun
The play begins with the Youngers, a family of five, living in a cramped two-bedroom apartment in Chicago. The family consists of Walter and Ruth Younger, their son Travis, and Walter’s mother, Lena.
When the play begins, the family has just received a $10,000 life insurance check from the death of Walter’s father. Walter dreams of using the money to open a liquor store, while Lena wants to use it to buy a house in a better neighborhood.
The family is divided on how to use the money, and their arguments become increasingly heated. Meanwhile, Ruth discovers she is pregnant and her daughter, Beneatha, is struggling to find her identity in a predominantly white society.
Themes of A Raisin in the Sun
A Raisin in the Sun explores a number of important themes, including racial identity, family dynamics, poverty, and the American Dream. It is often praised for its realistic portrayal of African-American life in the 1950s, as well as its exploration of the difficulties faced by African-Americans in a predominantly white society.
The play is also seen as an important statement on the power of family and the importance of working together to achieve a common goal. Despite the family’s disagreements and differences, they ultimately come together to support each other and work towards a better future.
A Raisin in the Sun in Popular Culture
A Raisin in the Sun has been adapted into several films and stage productions. The most successful adaptation was the 1961 film starring Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee. The play has also been turned into a musical and was recently revived on Broadway in 2014.
The play has had a lasting impact on American culture and is often seen as a symbol of hope and perseverance in the face of adversity. It is considered an important piece of American literature and remains a powerful reminder of the struggle of African-Americans for equality and justice.