A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

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What is the theme of the play "A Raisin in the Sun"?

What is the theme of the play "A Raisin in the Sun"?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Lorraine Hansberry explores several significant themes throughout her classic play A Raisin in the Sun. Individual dreams are a prominent theme that Hansberry examines throughout the play, which is depicted by the various aspirations of the members of the Younger family. Each family member has their own personal dreams and ideas of how to spend the $10,000 insurance check. Their different dreams conflict and each member is forced to compromise in order to achieve what is best for the family.

Racial discrimination is another prominent theme explored in the play. Lena Younger's decision to buy a home in the white neighborhood of Clybourne Park presents a conflict as the white community members, who are represented by Mr. Lindner, attempt to prevent the Youngers from moving into their neighborhood.

Hansberry also explores gender relations, principally feminism, by illustrating how others react to Beneatha's dream of becoming a female doctor. Lena, Ruth, Walter Jr., and George Murchinson believe that Beneatha's dreams are unrealistic and discourage her from attempting to become a female doctor.

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are a few different themes that run together.  The idea of holding onto your dreams, in the presence of racism, which is the main theme in the work.

"What happens to a person whose dreams grow more and more passionate--while his hopes of ever achieving those dreams grow dimmer each day?"

The struggle for African Americans to gain civil rights and the prejudice that existed and intolerance in society before the laws were changed in the 1960s.  

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