A Raisin in the sun Themes The key themes in A Raisin in the Sun are dreams, selfishness, and race.

You are watching: A raisin in the sun theme

Dreams: anyone in the play has a dream. However, achieving one"s dreams proves a facility endeavor, particularly when determinants like race, class, and also gender interfere. Selfishness: Lena"s selfless desire to provide for her family is contrasted v her childrens" an ext selfish concerns. Walter"s cynicism disputes with Lena"s id in tough work.Race: once Lena put a down payment top top a home in a mainly white neighborhood, the community association tries come buy the house ago in bespeak to keep the Youngers out, highlighting the barriers erected by racism.
critical Updated on might 5, 2015, through chrischona2015.org Editorial. Indigenous Count: 880

In 1957, as soon as Lorraine Hansberry started work ~ above A Raisin in the Sun, she titled it Crystal Stair, taken from a line in a Langston Hughes poem, “Mother to Son.” The last title, choose the initial one, additionally comes from a Hughes poem, “Harlem,” i m sorry asks the question, “What wake up to a dream deferred/ does it dry up prefer a raisin in the Sun?” Either location is appropriate, for definitely this is a play around a mother-son relationship, however it is no less a play around dreams, desires too lengthy deferred. This unfulfilled dreams are at the center of the play and also are the source of the varied difficulties in the play. The path in i m sorry Hansberry presents these problems and also the skill with i m sorry she weaves them right into the basic theme that the job-related attest the artistry the the playwright.


A Raisin in the Sun is rife with conflicts: generational conflicts, sex conflicts, ideological conflicts, and also perhaps most important, conflicts of dreams, which room at the facility of the play. By placing three generations in the same cramped quarters, Hansberry focuses substantially on some of the essential differences between age and youth. Mama Younger’s worry is constantly for the welfare of her children. She wants to administer for Beneatha’s education and find a comfortable home for the family. She and her husband, huge Walter, had actually struggled to do life much better for the children. Back he had actually literally operated himself to death, he had taken out the $10,000 life insurance plan as defense for them.

Beneatha and also Walter Lee, on the other hand, are much more selfish in your concerns. Beneatha squanders money top top frivolous pursuits and also devotes her attention to her personal relationships, when Walter is oblivious come the requirements of everyone else, with the possible exception that his son, in his obsession with the dream of coming to be a businessman. Travis, in usual childlike fashion, manipulates all the adults in the pat in order to achieve his very own ends.

ideology system conflicts likewise abound, feeding into the significant theme the the novel. Beneatha, having actually been newly exposed to part radical ideas in the university setting, has actually abandoned the God-centered Christian confidence of her mother and has adopted atheism, or at the very least secular humanism. The significant clash in between these two ideologies comes in a dramatic scene in i m sorry Mama forces Beneatha come acknowledge, at the very least verbally, the presence of God by forcing she to repeat the expression “In mine mother’s house, there is always God.” In sharp comparison to Mama Younger’s viewpoint of success v faith and also hard work-related is Walter Lee’s ideology of the “takers and the tooken.” he adopts this philosophy after gift deceived through his friend, Willie. Mama Younger denounces this philosophy when, in a powerful speech recall Walter Lee that his heritage, she says, “Son, i come from five generations of slaves and sharecroppers—but aint no one in my family never permit nobody salary ’em no money that was a way of telling us we wasn’t fit come walk the earth. Us aint never been that poor.”

In George Murchison, a wealthy young african American university student, and Asagai, a poor Nigerian college student—both suitors of Beneatha—Hansberry focuses on the conflicts between wealth and position matches heritage and also tradition. Murchison supplies Beneatha a life of opulence and comfort, if Asagai supplies her a life steeped in genealogical tradition yet devoid of creature comforts. Hansberry does no attempt to deal with this conflict, picking rather to leave Beneatha undecided in ~ the finish of the play, arguing the challenge of such a choice. The Beneatha-Asagai relationship likewise introduces into the drama the theme of pan-Africanism, a theme widespread in african American drama of this period. V the romantic joining of this two, Hansberry manages to link the African battle for self-reliance with the african American battle for self-identity and also self-determination.

Furthermore, in she portrayal of Beneatha as a fiercely independent, self-assured woman, identified to success in the medical profession, Hansberry introduces the design template of feminism, a novel one currently not just in afri American literature but also in American literary works in general. Even Walter Lee expresses the common male-chauvinist suggest of check out as that taunts Beneatha about her ambitions: “If you space going to clinical school, why not be a nurse favor everyone else.”

The feminist theme is intensified by the portrayal the the two other women in the play. Every in she own way reflects some aspect of feminism. Lena Younger (Mama) is the summary of the self-reliant woman, having functioned side by side v her husband to administer for the family and continuing to it is in its stabilizing force. Ruth, ~ above the various other hand, seems to hold fairly traditional ideas about motherhood, however she find herself, without the counsel of her husband, considering abortion as an different to bringing another child into the world. Although the abortion template is merely touched on in this play, the way is opened up for various other writers to treat it an ext thoroughly in future plays.

In A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry raises many worries of race, gender, household values, religion, and also ethics. The beat poses many an ext problems than it resolves or also attempts to resolve; therein lies the complexity and the realism the the drama.

critical Updated ~ above July 23, 2020, through chrischona2015.org Editorial. Word Count: 270

A Raisin in the Sun deals with two problems: the discords of a family with high hopes, and also the social injustice of segregation. The 2 Younger children, Beneatha and also Walter, are both identified to improve their terminal in life. Walter, however, struggles just with desires of success, while Beneatha realistically take away college courses that will bring about her coming to be a doctor. In one way, both are fighting the be oppressive of racism, however it is Beneatha who seems coolly to know that the oppression will be conquered only through difficult work.

Wise sufficient to know that the family members will survive only through wise management, Lena Younger provides her insurance money come buy a house. She has bought it, however, in a segregated area, and also though she is willing to face that fight when the comes, the ominous appearance of Lindner, who desires to buy the end the Youngers to protect against their relocating it come Clybourne Park, threatens future difficulties.

Yet racial segregation is not the significant theme the the play. The significant theme is that family members must remain united; when family members members plot selfishly, together Walter does once he bring away his mummy money and invests it in a fly-by-night system to buy a liquor store, the family may disintegrate. This really nearly wake up to the Youngers. In ~ the last minute, however, Walter realizes what that is doing and abruptly rejects Lindner’s market (though he had threatened to expropriate it). The unity of the family is saved. The difficulty of moving into a White neighborhood lies in the future. For the present, the Youngers have actually proven the in unit lies strength.

critical Updated ~ above July 23, 2020, by chrischona2015.org Editorial. Native Count: 741

Race and also Racism

The clear main theme the A Raisin in the Sun needs to do through race and also racism. The Youngers live in a segregated community in a city that remains one of the most segregated in the united States. Virtually every plot they execute is impacted by your race. Ruth is employed as a residential servant and Walter as a chauffeur in component because they are Black—they room the servants, that is, that White people. Castle are limited to their poorly maintained apartment in component because they have actually low-paying jobs but additionally because absentee landlords often do not maintain their property. Travis chases a rat, when Beneatha and also Mama effort to eradicate cockroaches, both activities which would not take place in wealthier neighborhoods.

The most far-reaching scene which openly portrays racism, however, is the visit through Karl Lindner. Although he does not recognize himself as racist, and although his methods are much less violent 보다 some, he desires to live in one all-White neighborhood—and that is ready to salary the Youngers turn off to stay out the White neighborhoods. This form of racism is regularly dangerous due to the fact that it is more easily hidden.

Prejudice and also Tolerance

Closely related to the theme of race and racism is the template of prejudice and tolerance. Knife Lindner and also his next-door neighbors are clearly prejudiced against Black people. Yet other develops of prejudice and intolerance also surface in the play. Walter responds come George Murchison aggressively because George is wealthy and educated; educated males seem to Walter somehow much less masculine. Similarly, return Joseph Asagai encourages Beneatha to feeling proud of her racial identity, the discourages her from feeling proud that her intellectual abilities since he to trust professional achievements are irrelevant to a ideal woman.

Civil Rights

Also related to the layout of race and racism and also to the layout of prejudice and also tolerance is the design template of polite Rights. Return this play would debut prior to the major Civil legal rights movement emerged in the unified States during the 1960s, that raises numerous of the concerns that would eventually be raised by the larger culture. ""Civil Rights"" typically refer come the legal rights a person has by law—such together the right to vote or the ideal to attend an sufficient schools—and room often likewise referred to as human being rights. The central civil rights worry in this play is, the course, the idea of segregated housing. Mama Younger has the money come pay for a home she wants, however people attempt to prevent her native doing so since of she race. In ~ this moment, she is not trying to make a political allude but fairly to purchase the ideal house obtainable for the money. Houses easily accessible in her very own ghetto neighborhood are both more costly and also less well-kept.

American Dream

The "American Dream" consists of many ideas, however it is generally the id that anyone who involves or is born in America can attain success through difficult work. Walter Younger aspires come achieve part of this American Dream, but he is irritable at every turn. Although the is willing to work-related hard, avenues for that are few because the is Black. His society has relegated him to the maid class. When some money does become available to him, his business methods are likewise few—for couple of businesses historically thrived in decimal neighborhoods. However by the end of the play, even if it is or no he achieves the American Dream, he does achieve a sense of himself together an individual through power and also the capacity to make choices.

Sex Roles

While inquiries of gyeongju are definitely prominent in the play, an same significant, if much less prominent, problem involves gender. Mama understands that in bespeak to suffer himself together an adult, Walter have to experience himself together a man—that is, he must be the leader of a family. That course, in order because that Walter to it is in the leader, the women have to step back. And also even within their stations together servants, Walter and also Ruth"s roles are further split according to their sex—Walter is the chauffeur, Ruth the residential servant. An ext blatantly, however, Joseph Asagai asserts the women have only one role in life—that the wife and also presumably mother. And also although Beneatha longs to be a doctor, she is likewise caught upin the romance of possibly being Asagai"s wife. This tension points the end the truth that individuals have the right to be exceptionally steady in one area that their stays while being lot less progressive in other areas.

See more: How Much Is 500 Euros In Us Dollars, 500 Euro To Us Dollar Exchange Rate

Start her 48-hour complimentary trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and also analyses you need to get far better grades now.

30,000+ publication summaries 20% examine tools discount Ad-free contents PDF downloads 300,000+ answer 5-star customer support start your 48-hour totally free trial

Already a member? log in here.