How does the setting of the apartment reflect the family's problems in Hansberry's play A Raisin in the Sun?
The Younger's apartment represents the deferred dream to which the play’s title alludes, and when Lena Younger succeeds in buying a house, she achieves the long-time dream that she and Walter Sr. had shared. The over-crowded apartment, its worn-out contents, and the building and neighborhood in which the apartment is located all have important effects on the Younger family. The apartment reveals the financial and racial obstacles and limitations that the family members have faced.
When Walter Younger, Sr. was alive, he and his wife Lena moved into a small apartment and dreamed of one day buying a house. As the family grew and Walter, Jr. married, his wife, Ruth, joined them in living in the apartment. The furniture and other possessions that they bought new have become old and worn out. Walter, Sr. died never having achieved the dream of home ownership. Lena holds onto that dream, however, and she is determined to use the life insurance money to achieve it. The racial composition of the apartment building and the neighborhood is not discussed until late in the play. After Lena announces her decision to move to a different area, it becomes clear that their current neighborhood has a predominantly African-American population, while the residents of Clybourne Park are all white.
Financial limitations are the primary obstacle that prevents Lena and her children from moving to a larger space or spaces. The apartment is too small for the number of people who live there, but...
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 906 words.)
check Approved by eNotes Editorial