A Raisin In The Sun

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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Title: A Raisin in the Sun Author: Lorraine Hansberry Genre: Fiction Copyright Date: 1988 Setting: Chicago's Southside around WW2 in the 1902's Effect of Setting on the characters and the plot: The Younger family weren't happy of were they lived. When they finally moved they got what they wanted and they were happy.

Main Characters: Lena Younger is one of the characters that takes charge in order for her family to try to keep together. She is a person who is really nice but stays strong. She has a plant that describes her dreams for Travis. Ruth Younger is another one of the characters that tries to stay strong about everything. Ruth is the wife of Walter Lee Younger and is Travis' mother. Her dream is for everyone to get along and for her to be a settled woman. Benetha Younger is Mama's daughter and Walter's sister. Her dream is to become a doctor. She has this obsession of trying to find out about her own culture.

Walter Lee Younger is a stubborn character in the play. He has a conflict with everyone in the book except with his son. He is Mama's son and Ruth's husband. His dream is to open up a liquor store and he wants all three women to understand him.

Minor Characters: Travis Younger is Ruth and Walter's 10 year old son. Joseph Asagia is Benetha's African collage friend who she is highly interested in her romantically. Karl Lindner is the man from Clybourne Park Improvement Association. He tries to take back the house that he sold to the Younger family. Bobo is Walter's friend who invested money with him for the store. Willy Harris is a person who Walter and Bobo gave their money to open up their liquor store and he just ran off with the money.

Plot Summary: In the Beginning of the book they are all talking about how they should all get a new house and a new better life. The Family is waiting for Their father's insurance money. Benetha gets Nigerian clothing from her friend. Mama goes out and puts a down payment on a house in a white neighborhood. She tells everyone this and they all get worried. But before that Ruth was trying to tell Walter that she might be having another baby. Benetha explains to her mother that George Murchinson wasn't a nice boy and he isn't good enough. Later the next day Ruth receives a call from Walters boss telling her that Walter hasn't been at work for a couple of days now.

So Ruth goes to Walter and hears what he has to say. When Mama hears this she gives the left over money to Walter and tells him to put 3,000 dollars aside for Benetha's collage fund and the rest is his. When he gets the money from Mama he talks about Travis' future and how everything is going to work out. After that Ruth says to Mama how Walter and her went out to do different things and had fun after that day when Mama gave the money to him. Mama goes out and a man comes in from the place that Mama goes to get the house. So he introduces himself to everyone and tells them who he was. He tells everyone that he made a mistake in giving the house to them and that they were ready to offer them a lot more money then what they have given if they don't move into the house. When Mama comes in she hears what has been going on and agrees on whatever Walter has said to Mr. Lindner. When Mr. Lindner leaves they are all the same again until Bobo comes in with bad news.

Bobo tells Walter that Willy Harris took the money for the liquor store and ran off with it. ( Walter took the money that Mama gave to him, his and Benetha's, and gave it to Willy to invest in the store). When Mama hears this she gets up and goes over to Walter and just starts to smack him. The next day was moving day and they start to leave the house. Mama looks around for the last time and then picks up her plant and leaves. When they arrive at the new house everyone surprised Mama with gifts that they all got her. She receives a weird hat from Travis that he picked out himself but she loves it. She also got gardening tools from everyone else.

Conflict: Basically its Walter and Lena. But then again Walter has a conflict with everyone. But for now I am going to do a conflict on Walter and Lena Younger. Walter wants to use the money for his dream in opening up a liquor store. Lena won't let him. He wants to be understood by everyone and to understand why he wants to do all of this with the money. She wants him to understand that all she wants is for everyone to be happy.

Turning Point: The turning point is when Mama goes out, takes over and buys a house and sorts things out.

Resolution of the conflict: The resolution of the conflict is Mama going out and buying the house and everyone lives happily ever after.

Theme: The theme means a grape dries up in the sun to become a raisin. In the play the dreams of the characters are delayed each time but their dreams never die, they form into bigger ones.

Symbolism: Some symbols that were in the book were the plant and the check in the mail. I say the Plant because the plant symbolized all of Lena's hopes and dreams for Travis. I also say the check in the mail that they were all waiting for because it was the way out to there dreams.

Similarities: In some of the books the characters seem the same. Like in Ellen Foster, Ellen wanted to live a good life and find out if she can. So she did all that she can to live out her dream even with the consequences. That book is pretty much similar to A Raisin in the Sun.



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