Complex Themes In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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Published in 1959, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun handles complex themes through the development of multifaceted characters. Opening with Langston Hughes’ poem “A Dream Deferred”, we explore the concept of dreams, hopes, and plans. We’re introduced to the Youngers, a multigenerational African American family living in a tenement in Chicago “sometime between World War II and” (22) when the book was written. As the characters interact with one another, we learn about their individual dreams and delve into the ways they intersect with other complex issues, including race. While the tone is somber and the ending is fairly open, the curtain closes on a hopeful note. One of the primary themes of the play is dreams, hopes, and plans. Opening with and titling her play after a line from Hughes’ poem, Hansberry immediately jumps into the concept of dreams, hopes, and plans. While each member of the family has their own dreams, I most strongly connected the poem to Walter. Desperate to break free from his situation, he sees opening the liquor store with Willy…show more content…
While she wants to enjoy the freedoms afforded to her in America, such as education and freedom to bounce between hobbies, she does not want to do it at the expense of fully losing touch with her roots. This is largely shown between her two love interests, George Murchinson, a wealthy, fully Americanized black man, and Joseph Asagai, a visiting student from Nigeria. While Asagai ignites her desire to learn more about her heritage, Murchinson continually dismisses it, pushing her to adhere to the culture in which he lives. However, despite encouraging her, Asagai also urges her to consider her privilege as an American, something many people in his country do not have, adding another interesting facet to race within the
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