What are all the differences and comparisons that can be made between the movie adaptation of "A Raisin in the Sun" and the original play version?

Asked on by haidakiko

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teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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There are two film versions of A Raisin in the Sun:  the 1961 version starring Sidney Poitier and the 2008 version starring Sean Combs.  My response will reference the 2008 film.

The 2008 film follows the play very closely; however, there are a few differences.  At the beginning of the film, Lena is shown at her last day of work.  The child whom Lena looks after is sad that Lena will no longer be working for them.  This is not seen in the play--the reader simply knows that Lena works as a maid for a white family.

Another difference occurs when Walter begins skipping work.  In the film, Walter's employer calls and Lena answers the phone stating that Walter is not home.  She is told that Walter did not show up for work on that day.  In the play, however, Ruth answers the phone when the employer calls and Walter is in the bedroom lying down.  Ruth is told that Walter has been absent from work for three days.

Finally, a major difference between the film and the written play is the appearance of Mrs. Johnson.  In the written play, Mrs. Johnson serves as a foil character for Lena.  She has been removed from the 2008 film version.

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