A Raisin in the Sun Book Review Essay

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry is a truly charming piece of literature that has affected readers, young and old, for generations. It offers us a very practical view of racial tension, along with the socioeconomic struggles, African Americans faced throughout the late 1940s-50s. In this play we satisfy the Youngers, a lower-class, diverse-minded, African American household just trying to endure in 1950s South Chicago. Together they face financial hardship, racial discrimination, and the constant struggle to keep a fragile family together as each member look for their variation of the “American Dream”.

Hansberry did an exceptional task in creating the Younger family to represent lower class African American families in the 1950s. The Youngers reside in a rundown, two-bedroom house. The family includes Mama, Walter, Ruth, Travis, and Beneatha. The financial element of the play is centered around the insurance check Mama will be getting for her late partner, the author utilizes this to create a foundation for the Youngers story; the cash elicits conflict in between the characters as each has their own idea on what to do with money that does not even belong to them.

A major motif in this play is bigotry, the author enables a little foreshadowing in the beginning of the play with the bombing of another African American household in Clybourne Park, a generally white community and the area where Mother eventually purchases the new family home. Hansberry uses Walter to connect these two styles together. After losing all of the money Mom provided him to invest in his business and to conserve for Beneatha’s college fund, he then goes to get more cash by selling back Mother’s brand-new home: he can either get rid of the racism and be the male his mom always understood he could be, or he can take the cash for another possibility to pursue his dreams however at the exact same time he would essentially be selling his soul to the devil. Walter must choose to either satiate his thirst for wealth or preserve the pride of his race.

Finally, Hansberry acknowledges the importance of family unity throughout these times. Ruth and Mama are the 2 primary characters attempting to hold everything together. Hansberry made these characters strong and loaded with hope, regardless of their scenario in life. Produced any other method and we would most likely see the family fall apart as the story began to unfold. Money and bigotry are likewise huge tests on the strength of this family as they cope the challenges of poverty and recognize the drawbacks of a few of the member of the family.

All in all, A Raisin in the Sun is an effectively composed book. It is written in such a way that actually puts you in the confined, living conditions with the Youngers and assists readers to understand what it indicated to be a bad African American family in the 1950s. Hansberry did a terrific task in developing solid characters which help to develop the story efficiently and realistically. It was a play I thoroughly enjoyed reading and would readily recommend to anybody searching for an excellent read.

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