To what extent is the play A Raisin in the Sun still relevant today? Does the way that Hansberry explores the themes in the work still hold true today?

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Although Lorraine Hansberry's celebrated play A Raisin in the Sunis set in the 1950s, there are multiple themes and situations explored that are still relevant in today's society. One of the primary themes explored throughout the play concerns deferred dreams. Walter Jr. dreams of one day becoming a...

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Although Lorraine Hansberry's celebrated play A Raisin in the Sun is set in the 1950s, there are multiple themes and situations explored that are still relevant in today's society. One of the primary themes explored throughout the play concerns deferred dreams. Walter Jr. dreams of one day becoming a successful business owner, while his sister dreams of becoming a doctor. However, their financial situation and lack of opportunity defer their dreams. Millions of Americans, particularly Black Americans, can relate to their situation and recognize what it is like to have their dreams deferred. Financial struggles, lack of opportunity, and discrimination remain obstacles that prevent individuals from attaining their goals. The belief in the American Dream is still relevant today, as people strive to climb the social ladder and attain financial security like Walter Jr. and Beneatha.

Hansberry's depiction of conflict among family members also remains relevant. Audiences can relate to experiencing conflict with family members due to different interests, personalities, and goals. Throughout the play, Walter Jr., Ruth, Lena, and Beneatha struggle to see eye-to-eye on various issues. The primary conflict between the members of the Younger family concerns what to do with Lena's insurance money.

Racial and gender discrimination also remain relevant issues in today's society, as prejudice continues to negatively affect Black citizens and females. The Black Lives Matter and Me Too movements are evidence that racial and gender discrimination remain relevant issues, which is something Hansberry depicts in her play. Individuals like Karl Lindner represent a racist society determined to prevent African Americans from climbing the social ladder and assimilating. Beneatha also experiences gender discrimination for attempting to become a doctor, which is traditionally a male occupation.

Hansberry also depicts marriage issues between Walter Jr. and Ruth, which audiences can relate to and understand. Walter Jr. believes that Ruth does not support his dreams, while Ruth feels that her husband is distracted and distant. She is also thinking about getting an abortion, while Walter Jr. remains concerned about entering the liquor business. Marriage issues remain relevant, as divorce rates continue to rise in America and couples experience conflict on an everyday basis. Hansberry's ability to explore a myriad of themes that remain relevant in today's society explains why A Raisin in the Sun continues to be popular among modern audiences.

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Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun is profoundly relevant today. The play's title comes from Langston Hughes' poem "Harlem" in which the poet asks "What happens to a dream deferred?", and as long as access to the "American Dream" is conditioned and qualified by systemic racism, the play will be relevant. The Younger family struggles to balance their dreams with the sobering conditions of their reality in a too-small apartment—with little room to move either literally or figuratively. When the family attempts to buy a house in a middle-class neighborhood, they run into a representative from the "neighborhood association" who lets them know that the presence of a black family in this neighborhood is less than welcome.

The play's themes are directly relevant to contemporary discourse in a couple of ways. First of all, in Ta-Nehisi Coates's provocative 2014 essay "The Case for Reparations," Coates highlights the discriminatory history of housing in the United States—precisely the kind of housing discrimination represented in the play—as evidence for the economic damage visited on black families. In addition, the playwright Bruce Norris wrote a sort of sequel to A Raisin in the Sun in 2010 called Clybourne Park which explores the ironies of the process of gentrification in cities like Chicago—wherein the same kinds of affluent homebuyers who had engaged in "white flight" to the suburbs sought to move back to (and "gentrify") cities (and specifically formerly black neighborhoods) decades later.

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The play A Raisin in the Sun is still relevant. There are still people who have dreams that are yet to come true. As long as their are people who dream, there will be relevance in a play like A Raisin in the Sun. Today, there are people who still live in poverty. They still have nothing but dreams. They struggle to survive in the dog eat dog world in which we live. 

No doubt, there is still racism. Although we have come a long way, there are still racist people in the world. There are still people who have there dreams shot down by those who do not believe in them. There is a Walter out there who is sick and tired of the subservient job that brings no sense of satisfaction. 

Somewhere in the world, there is a Walter who is being judged by the color of his skin. There is someone who does not dare to share his dream for fear that someone will shoot it down. There is a Walter who feels trapped in a world that is not fair. Truly, A Raisin in the Sun is still relevant. There are some people who do not desire to live next to a person of color. Yes, racism is relevant. Racism is a serious issue even today. Times have changed but racism still exists:

The clear primary theme of A Raisin in the Sun has to do with race and racism. The Youngers live in a segregated neighborhood in a city that remains one of the most segregated in the United States. 

Clearly, racism still exists. There is a Karl Lindner in the world today. He represents the prejudiced section in the world today. He does not want to have neighbors who are black. Although racist people may not be as confrontational, there are racist people who do not want to live beside black people:

Closely related to the theme of race and racism is the theme of prejudice and tolerance. Karl Lindner and his neighbors are clearly prejudiced against black people.

A Raisin in the Sun is still relevant and should be taught. It is important to reveal prejudiced attitudes, forcing people to deal with their racial attitudes. The more racism is exposed, the more we can try and change racist people. 

Fortunately, there are people who support families like the Youngers. There are those who are cheering them on, hoping all their dreams come true, but until racism is crushed in all its ugliness, A Raisin in the Sun will be a relevant play.  

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