Abstract illustration of the houses of Clybourne Park

A Raisin in the Sun

by Lorraine Hansberry
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What is some interesting critical analysis on A Raisin in the Sun?

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Lorraine Hansberry touches on a number of themes that provide for an interesting discussion of the play. You could discuss one or two of these themes and explain their significance within the context of the times. A Raisin in the Sun premiered in 1959, just before the civil rights era and the women’s liberation movement. In the story, issues are brewing and tensions are rising among marginalized groups. The characters exhibit an increasing sense of restlessness and desire for change, which appears to foreshadow the uprisings of the sixties.

This restlessness is evident in the struggles of both African Americans and women in the play. Both struggle to come to terms with their identities. Hansberry highlights the conflict between embracing one's African heritage or abandoning it. She questions women’s traditional roles as wives and mothers, and she challenges conventional ideas of gender. You could discuss how the characters yearn to break free from the boundaries that keep them from achieving the American Dream. You could also discuss the idea that, by highlighting the characters' personal struggles, Hansberry anticipates the massive changes in society that will take place in the upcoming decades.

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