A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

A Raisin in the Sun book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In A Raisin in the Sun, what does the absence of the light in the Youngers' apartment signify, and why does Ruth so desperately hope for light in the new house?

Expert Answers info

Ashly Hintz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Tutor

bookB.S. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


calendarEducator since 2019

write726 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The absence of light in the Younger house makes it feel dingy and depressing, which makes the house unwelcome and sad. This is a metaphor for sadness and depression, implying that the House has no light—meaning hope or joy—in it. The Youngers know that there is no future in that house and that it is a symbol of their lackluster lives, without much hope or positivity.

The new house, they hope, will resolve those issues. The new house represents their future and the changes they’re making in their life, and by hoping it has more light, they’re hoping for a more prosperous, bright, and happy...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 472 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write9,223 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

e-martin eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write3,637 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


ahuffer | Student

It signifies their "hope" of achieving the American Dream. It is the opportunity that they are so desperately grasping for. This goes hand-in-glove with Mama's plant. Mama says her plant doesn't ever get enough light or water. This is her "family" not getting enough opportunity to thrive. They need a "break". They need a "window of oppotunity", and they get it with the insurance money. It's a small window, because Walter has to "man-up" before he can lead his family the right way. Mama always wants her plant/family to have enough light and water, so they can "grow" together. Ruth, will eventually fill Mama's shoes, and she knows that having more "light"/opportunity, will be essential if the family is going to grow in a possitive direction.

 

This play, by the way, is a FANTASTIC piece to compare to Langston Hughes's poem, "Harlem". The Youngers answer the question that Hughes poses in his poem. What happens to a dream deferred? Yes...it turns ugly, so seize the opportunities you are given and don't set your dreams aside. (The message Beneatha is given by her boyfriend.)

check Approved by eNotes Editorial