A Raisin in the Sun Questions and Answers
by Lorraine Hansberry

A Raisin in the Sun book cover
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Think about the role of money in the play, A Raisin in the Sun. How does it affect different characters?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Money is a very important theme in A Raisin in the Sun. On the one hand, it's presented as something that can offer African-Americans a chance to get on in white society. It's intended that the money from Mr. Younger's insurance policy will buy the family a new house in a white neighborhood, giving them higher status and social respectability.

Part of the insurance payout is also to be used to put Beneatha through medical school. Once she's qualified as a doctor, Beneatha will be a well-paid, highly-respected professional able to take her place in mainstream society.

However, the flip side of all this is that money can be a curse as well as a blessing. Instead of seeing the insurance payout as a catalyst for social mobility, Walter just sees it as an opportunity to invest in shady schemes. His loss of the money ruins so many of his family's plans, holding them back from fulfilling their dreams.

In A Raisin in the Sun , then, money is both a source of salvation and ruination, as it can so easily...

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