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In "A Raisin in the Sun", what is the setting (not inside the apartment but...

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reba242 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 16, 2008 at 9:55 AM via web

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In "A Raisin in the Sun", what is the setting (not inside the apartment but outside). How does everyone interact with one another?

What impressions do you get from the over all setting, for example when Mama goes to the super market, Beneatha's college, when Walter is waiting for his boss etc.

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allyson | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted November 17, 2008 at 2:01 AM (Answer #1)

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Although the entire play is set inside the Youngers' apartment, it takes place in Chicago during the height of segregation. Through much of the play, we do not see first-hand how the Youngers are treated by whites, but we hear about it in their conversations and understand the impact of it through their tone and body language. Mama is a maid in a white household; Walter is a chauffeur for a white man; Beneatha, although she attends college, seems to only interact with other black students. Each of these characters deals with their status as "lower class" in different ways. Mama maintains her dignity by taking care of her family first; Walter tries constantly to be more-- at times, more white. On the other hand, Beneatha fights assimilation.

During all of this, we hear of black families who are threatened and even killed for moving into white neighborhoods. Mama ignores the dangers and buys a house in a white neighborhood. At this point the outside enters their apartment. Mr. Lindner, a white man who represents the new neighborhood, tries to buy the family out of their new house. The family has to decide between money and dignity.

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casey2113 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted April 29, 2012 at 10:39 PM (Answer #2)

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The book "A Raisin in The Sun" is set in Chicago during the 1950s. This is during the Civil Rights Movement and is the time period the author lived in. The author wrote this book as she herself faced some of the problems present in the book. These can be seen as literary overtones and undertones that the author uses to intimate the occurences from her life, and into the book.

Racial pre-judice has by definition it's own sting. The Youngers place a deaf ear to what's aorund them, but the ebb and flow of the segregation in which they are entwined later buries it's racial claws in the fabric of their family set up, as each member suffers its effects. Mama, Walter, Beneatha, all different individuals in every aspect suffer a similar fate, that of racism. The white folk are explicitly reluctant, if not all out against this wind of change that one black family wants to impose on them.

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