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.
What About Ruth
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