Theme Of Ownership In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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Different Suns: Ownership and Dreams in A Raisin in the Sun In 1959 Lorraine Hansberry, at the age of 29, became the first African-American female playwright to have her play produced on a Broadway stage. In 1960 Lorraine Hansberry adapted her play into a screenplay, which then materialized into a 1961 film of the same name. The film was directed by Daniel Petrie and starred Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Roy Glenn, and Louis Gossett, Jr— an almost entirely black cast. The title A Raisin in the Sun, comes from a line in the 1951 Langston Hughes poem “Harlem” which questions what happens to a dream deferred. Dreams lie at the core of A Raisin in the Sun and serve to push the action of the story forward while creating tension between characters whose dreams appear to others as obstacles. The theme of ownership runs through both Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play and the 1961 film, manifesting itself primarily in the Younger family’s individual dreams and…show more content…
Ownership means different things to the characters, whether it is over a house, a business, or one’s identity; everyone is striving to have something they can call their own. The Younger’s distinct understandings of ownership are informed by their relationships to the past and their personal experiences of race and gender. By approaching the theme of ownership from multiple perspectives the characters become fully rounded and their complex motivations can be understood as a reflection of the larger societal forces at work. Lena Younger is the matriarch of the Younger family and following her husband’s death, she is left with the decision of how his 10,000 dollar life insurance check will be spent. Lena has been dreaming for a long time of owning a house with a garden that is all her own and providing her children and grandson with the
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