A Raisin in the Sun Questions and Answers
by Lorraine Hansberry

A Raisin in the Sun book cover
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Are the characters in A Raisin in the Sun stereotypes?

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One of Lorraine Hansberry’s greatest accomplishments was writing a play that is meant to be performed and holds the audience’s attention while at the same time a document that communicates important social messages. Some of the characters are more fully developed than others, and a few stereotypical figures are included, but for the most part the central characters seem very real. Some of their perspectives are unique and well thought through, while others are quick reactions based on emotion rather than logic—in the ways, they are very human. It is also vital to keep in mind the pioneering role of this play when it premiered in the 1950s, when characters now familiar were literally never seen on Broadway.

Beneatha , the character that Hansberry modeled on herself, is a confused teenager. Although she has had enough academic success to get into college, and knows the financial burden it puts on her family, she still is growing both intellectually and emotionally. Her changing...

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