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A Raisin in the Sun

Lorraine Hansberry

Key Facts

Important Quotations Explained

Study Questions & Essay Topics

full title  ·  A Raisin in the Sun

author  · Lorraine Hansberry

type of work  · Play

genre  · Realist drama

language  · English

time and place written  · 1950s, New York

date of first performance  · 1959

date of first publication  · 1959

publisher · Random House

tone  · Realistic

setting (time)  · Between 1945 and 1959

setting (place)  · The South Side of Chicago

protagonist  · Walter Lee Younger

major conflict  · The Youngers, a working-class black family, struggle against economic hardship and racial prejudice.

rising action  · Ruth discovers that she is pregnant; Mama makes a down payment on a house; Mama gives Walter the remaining insurance money; Walter invests the money in the liquor store venture.

climax  · Bobo tells the Youngers that Willy has run off with all of Walter’s invested insurance money; Asagai makes Beneatha realize that she is not as independent as she thinks.

falling action  · Walter refuses Mr. Lindner’s offer to not move; the Youngers move out of the apartment to their new house in the white neighborhood; Beneatha finds new strength in Asagai.

themes  · The value and purpose of dreams, the need to fight racial discrimination, the importance of family

motifs  · Racial identity, the home

symbols  · “Eat your eggs,” Mama’s plant, Beneatha’s hair

foreshadowing  · Mrs. Johnson’s news that a black family’s house has been bombed foreshadows the objections that the Clybourne Park Improvement Association will raise to the idea of the Youngers moving in; Walter’s hints to Travis that he is investing the insurance money foreshadow the disappearance of the money.

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Incorrect detail

by Penderworth, October 31, 2013

"The other family members strongly disagree with Walter’s decision to accept Mr. Lindner’s buyout, but Walter, standing firm, decides that he will take control of the situation" is wrong. He doesn't wish to accept the offer, as you say in your Analysis of Major Characters: "Walter finally becomes a man when he stands up to Mr. Lindner and refuses the money that Mr. Lindner offers the family not to move in to its dream house in a white neighborhood." Please amend this.


8 out of 24 people found this helpful

Just a Question

by azahmed716, December 11, 2013

What About Ruth


6 out of 10 people found this helpful


by dfhrtgjhtyj, January 19, 2016

help i got raisins in my butt what do i do


5 out of 6 people found this helpful

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