Is A Raisin in the Sun a drama or a tragedy?

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While A Raisin in the Sun certainly bears elements of a tragedy, including a bleak inciting incident, plainly flawed characters, and an incredibly cynical view on the true nature of humanity, particularly where greed is concerned, the play falls a bit more neatly into the category of a drama. The main distinction that sets it apart from a traditional tragedy is that it lacks a tragic hero, or a particular character that suffers a grim fate due to an insurmountable flaw.

Indeed, the action of the play revolves around an entire family, exploring the relationships and dynamics between the characters through conflicts that tend to be more episodic. This are all elements of a drama. Furthermore, though there are many tragic turning points and dark eventualities in the play, it does end on a positive note.

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Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin in the Sun would fall into the category of domestic drama and would not be considered a tragedy. In a domestic drama, the emphasis is placed on specific members of the same family, and their relationships and struggles are depicted. Domestic dramas typically focus on lower- or middle-class families, whose members struggle with everyday problems concerning financial difficulties, marital issues, illness, or family strife. In contrast, a tragedy is a drama where the main character suffers as a result of his or her tragic flaw and illustrates the terrible events experienced by a heroic individual. Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin in the Sun lacks a tragic hero and does not correspond to Aristotle's definition of a tragedy. The reason A Raisin in the Sun is considered a domestic drama is because Hansberry depicts the everyday struggles of the Younger family and portrays how the insurance check alters their lives. The play also ends on a hopeful, positive note as Walter Jr. demonstrates his integrity by refusing to sell Lena's home back to the white community of Clybourne Park.

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