A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
Refer back to the More Practice, Reading a Play assignment page in this module for additional instructions and grading information.
Discussion Prompt (s): Choose only one of the questions below to answer. Choose either #1 or #2 below to answer)
#1. What is the significance of the play’s setting—of its taking place in “Chicago’s Southside” “[s]ometime between World War II and the present” (i.e., 1959), that the action of the play all occurs within the Younger’s apartment, and that Hansberry describes this apartment in a very particular way in the play’s initial stage directions? How does the dialogue within the play add to your sense of the symbolic significance of the apartment? (200 – 300 words).
#2. As the epigraph announces and Hansberry’s text affirms, “dreams” are a central focus of A Raisin in the Sun, as is the difficulty of “expressing” or making others “understand” one’s dreams. How would you characterize the different dreams represented by the various members of the Younger family, especially Lena and Big Walter, Walter, Ruth, and Beneatha? What, for example, do Lena’s remarks about how she and her husband “was going to set away, little by little,” “buy a little place out in Morgan Park,” and create a garden suggest about the nature of the dreams she and her husband shared? (200 – 300 words)