A Raisin in the Sun. Lorraine Hansberry. Revision notes.

This is another mind map on the play A raisin in the Sun. It includes quotes (in bold) for the majority of the points, it also includes a little on Hansberry and the context at the time of that the play is set in. 

Rate and comment! Hope it all helps with the wider reading aspects of English Lit, or even just on homework. 

[edit] On mind map forgot to put why the play was called that way- it was from the L Hughes poem 'Harlem: A Dream Deferred'

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  • Created by: flo
  • Created on: 16-01-11 12:56
Preview of A Raisin in the Sun. Lorraine Hansberry. Revision notes.

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abortion not legalised in Illinois until 1970s,
nothing legalised 'unrestricted' until 1967- so
considering this would be a big step, as it would Ruth finds out she is pregnant and Mama tells African-American
be illegal to have one. Walter that Ruth is thinking about Abortion. She
fears the financial pressures and believes it to be
"When the world gets ugly enough ­ a woman the only way to get the family together again. Inspired by her families legal battle against
will do anything for her family. The part that's Feminist twist? Walter does not say anything racially segregated housing laws in Chicago.
already living." LORRAINE HANSBERRY Father was a real-estate broker.
about abortion as he lacks the dedication to his
legal battle that was taken to supreme court over
difficulties of being a working-class women
the housing was won but when there they faced
Feminism: "RUTH: Yes I would too, Walter discrimination anyway.
"WALTER: (Without even looking at his son, still Theme: Choices
(Pause) I gave her a five-dollar down staring hard at his wife) In fact, here's another
payment" fifty cents...Buy yourself some fruit today ­ or take CONTEXT: directly looks at the segregation in Also looks at the American Dream (DOAS link)
a taxicab to school or something!" (1.1.59) Despite housing during the civil rights movement in not only in family, but also in wider aspects. eg.
their finances Walter does not want it to
Walter shows his lack of assertion; "WALTER: 1950s. black's dream.
Ruth - (He can say nothing)" Issues with money.
Also looks at the issues in America at time, how
At end of play the family move into the house to the black community react to the oppressing
fulfil family's dream, their future uncertain but A Raisin in the Sun: Lorraine Hansberry white community.
optimistic to strive for a better life. set in a few weeks in the lives of the 'Youngsters'
a African-American family living on the South
Beneatha is courted by a rich black man called
Side of Chicago in 1950s. It transpires that the
GEORGE (Nastily)Let's face it, baby, your George Murchison, he is approved by the rest of
family are about to receive $10,000 insurance
heritage is nothing ... but a bunch of raggedy- the fam, but Beneatha dislikes him because of his
check for the dead Mr Young. Each family
assed spirituals and some grass huts! willingness to submit to white culture & forget
member have ideas on what to spend it on.
his roots. She rejects his proposal for Asagai-
nigerian boyf.
Mama/ 'Lena': wants to buy house of her dreams.
Families Dreams. Walter Lee/ only son:use money to invest in a "money is life"
"Mr Asagai - I want very much to talk to you. liquor store with friends= solve families money
About Africa. You see, Mr Asagai, I am looking Walters dreams of money & business success
problems became linked with the image of himself as a
for my identity!" Beneatha tries to find her identity by looking into
her past. man
Ruth (wife of Walter): agrees with mama as wants
more space & opportunity for son- Travis
Karl Lindner is a white business man & Clybourne unsure what her identity is, looks for it back in
Park welcoming rep, offers to pay them off so not Lena puts a deposit on a larger house, beneficial Beneatha (daughter of Mama and sister of her past & to Africa.
move into house. to all without consulting anyone else. Walter Walter): money for medical school tuition. Also
angry... "MAMA: she went out and she bought does not want family to join white world.
House in a white district. "LINDNER:...It is a you a house! (....Walter at the end of the
matter of the people of Clybourne Park revelation and he jumps up and turns away
believing, rightly or wrongly, as I say, that for from all of them in a fury...)"
the happiness of all concerned that our Negro Religion. MAMA(Kindly): `Course you going to be a
families are happier when they live in their doctor, honey, God willing. BENEATHA (Drily):
OWN communities" segregation is in their best God hasn't got a thing to do with it
"MAMA:Them houses they put up for colored
in them areas way out all seem to cost twice
as much as other houses. I did the best I
could" Racist laws made leaving slums much
more difficult for African-Americans.


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