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A Raisin In The Sun… ~ Lorraine Hansberry

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1 A Raisin In The Sun… ~ Lorraine Hansberry
Another Perspective Of The American Dream

2 Inscribed on Hansberry’s Tombstone
“I care. I care about it all. It takes too much energy not to care…The why of why are here is an intrigue for adolescents; the how is what must command the living. Which is lately why I have become an insurgent again.

3 From an August 1959 article in The Village Voice
“In an almost paradoxical fashion, it disturbs the soul of man to truly understand what he invariably senses: that nobody really finds oppression and/or poverty tolerable. If we ever destroy the image of the black people who supposedly do find those things tolerable in America, then the much touted “guilt” which allegedly haunts most middle-class white Americans with regard to the Negro question would really become unendurable.”

4 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? ~ Langston Hughes

5 Characters ~ Walter Lee Younger ~ Lena Younger (Mama) ~ Ruth Younger
~ Beneatha Younger ~ Travis Younger ~ Joseph Asagai ~ George Murchison ~ Bobo ~ Willy ~ Karl Lindner ~ Mrs. Johnson

6 Themes and Such… The American Dream: what is “the better life?”
Gender Identity: Male and female Generationally defining a “woman” What is “masculinity?” Afrocentrism: Does it play into Civil Rights? Class tensions: racial and otherwise Assimilation

7 Symbols… The Home (Apartment) Beneatha’s Struggle Mama’s Plant
The Liquor Store Dreams

8 And so we begin… “Weariness has, in fact, won in this room.”
How does this single sentence serve to set up the ‘metaphorical significance’ of the play?

9 Mr. F’s Fave Three Quotes
DAMN MY EGGS – DAMN ALL THE EGGS THAT EVER WAS ~ Walter, Act 1, sc. I What do EGGS have to do with the American Dream?

10 Mr. F’s Fave Three Quotes
…The only people in the world who are more snobbish than rich white people are rich colored people ~ Beneatha, Act 1, sc. I How does George Murchison figure into the American dream? What do you think Beneatha means by this?

11 Fave quote #3 Let’s face it baby, your heritage is nothing but a bunch of raggedy-assed spirituals and grass huts! ~ George Murchison, Act II, sc. I Huh? What’s George trying to say?

12 OK…just one more By the way, what are your views on Civil Rights?
~ Walter (to Beneatha), Act II, sc. Iii What are the differences between Walter and Beneatha’s views…?

13 Reality Check: Quotes you may NOT use!
Mama: Oh—So now it’s life. Money is life. Once upon a time freedom used to be life—now it’s money. I guess the world really do change . . . Walter: You wouldn’t understand yet, son, but your daddy’s gonna make a transaction a business transaction that’s going to change our lives

14 Still…NOT! Asagai: Then isn’t there something wrong in a house—in a world—where all dreams, good or bad, must depend on the death of a man? Mama: There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing. Walter: We have decided to move into our house because my father—my father—he earned it for us brick by brick.

15 And…Just in case… (dripping with sarcasm)
A Raisin in the Sun Quotes. Find the perfect quote to float your boat. Shmoop breaks down key quotations from A Raisin in the Sun. Danger. Beware. Land mines ahead.

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