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What are some some particular attitudes and traditions the author wants to change in A...

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throwerjake | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 15, 2011 at 12:58 AM via web

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What are some some particular attitudes and traditions the author wants to change in A Raisin in the Sun?

I would greatly appreciate if someone helped me out on this. Also, what are some of the techniques the author uses to influence the reader's or audience's views.

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 19, 2011 at 3:27 AM (Answer #1)

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In A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry challenges the materialistic view of happiness that is often associated with the American Dream.  Hansberry is careful in her crafting of the story--the Younger family receives a large sum of money not from winning a prize, but from the insurance settlement from the death of the late Mr. Younger.  In the play, Lena Younger even comments that the check represents what someone thinks Mr. Younger's life is worth.  As a result, the money is symbolic of Mr. Younger's life, hard work, and dreams for his family.  When Walter loses the money in the liquor store scheme, the family sees the loss as their dreams going down the drain.  Lena has spent a portion of the money on a house, but the house does not represent material ownership--it represents the family's independence and ability to stick together as a unit during hard times.  At the end of the play, the family is happy not because they have a new house, but because they are able to stay together and see to the benefit of their family as a whole.

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