In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, how is religion expressed in the play? What characters seem to be overtly religious?

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bohemianteacher4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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In Lorraine Hansberry's play "A Raisin in the Sun," the author provides a perspective of an American Black family living in Chicago in 1959. Her play brings into focus various aspects of the family member's lives as they struggle through generation differences, the civil rights movement, religion, and the hope that is placed in one's dreams.

The mother of the group is very religious. When she has something to say, she interjects her feelings by adding God into the conversation.

"Mama: (Kindly) 'Course you going to be a doctor, honey. God Willing."

Mama and the children's father raised the children to attend church. When she hears her daughter, Beneatha, tell her that there is more than one way of thinking, Mama takes the stand that it is her house and God is in her house.

"Mama: Now- you say after me, in my mother's house there is still God."

Conflict exists between the younger generation and Mama because the younger generation is trying to relate to their African heritage. By doing this, the question of God's existence becomes a conflict between Mama and Beneatha. When mama gets her insurance money payout, she mentions giving it to the church. Walter, the son, comes in after the check is received and begins to ask about the money. Mama responds by bringing up her Christianity.

"Mama: Can't you give people a Christan greeting before you start asking about money?"

Ms. Johnson visits at the house. She is also religious. As she begins her discussion with Ruth about Ruth's pregnancy, she brings up God's goodness.

"Johnson: He's good. Ain't He!"

Mama agrees, and Ms. Johnson goes on to say that God works in mysterious ways.

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