A Raisin in the Sun Questions and Answers
by Lorraine Hansberry

A Raisin in the Sun book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Discuss the title of the play, A Raisin in the Sun. How does it relate to the dreams of each of the characters?

Expert Answers info

David Wisar eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write318 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The title of the play, A Raisin in the Sun is taken from the Langston Hughes poem “Harlem.” The poem asks the question:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

The play grapples with that question, what happens to dreams that we put off? The drama focuses on the goals of nearly all its central charactersRuth wants a new and better house, Walter Lee wants to own a business empire and “be somebody,” and Beneatha wants to go to college and become a doctor while honoring her roots as an African American. Mama has a dream of seeing her children live happily, something that she and her husband, Big Walter, have worked for their entire lives.

Hansberry paints us a brilliant picture because many of the dreams in the play do get deferred. Ruth’s dream of moving to a new house is the only one that comes to fruition. Walter Lee is swindled out of his money, banishing his dream to dry up—and Beneatha is left with an alternative to her dream, moving to Africa...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 753 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial