Abstract illustration of the houses of Clybourne Park

A Raisin in the Sun

by Lorraine Hansberry

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Act I, Scene 1
1. Explain the significance of the money the family is expecting to receive, in terms of their past, present, and future as a family. Why is the money so important?

2. What is the significance of the title of A Raisin in the Sun?

Act I, Scene 2
1. When Walter answers his mother’s question, “Son—how come you talk so much ‘bout money?” with “Because it is life, Mama!”, what tragic flaw in Walter do we see? What is his attitude towards life, and how is it hurting him, although he may not be able to see it?

2. Walter asks plaintively, “Then why can’t there never be no peace in this house then?” We feel that he is right, and that the situation in the Younger family is hopelessly conflicted. Explain the sources of discord in the household, and what you think it would take for there to be “any peace.”

Act II, Scene 1
1. At the end of the scene, Walter implies his mother is a tyrant when he says to her, “You run our lives like you want to.” Do you think Mrs. Younger is a tyrant, running the lives of the family just as she wants to in a tyrannical way? Or do you disagree, and feel that Mrs. Younger is not trying to run their lives, but just directing her household as she thinks is best for everyone? Why?

2. Do you think it is right of George Murchison to call Walter “Prometheus”? What is Murchison implying about Walter when he calls him this name? Do you agree with his assessment of Walter? Why or why not?

Act II, Scene 2
1. Compare and contrast the attitudes of Beneatha and Mrs. Johnson on the struggle for racial equality.

2. Mrs. Younger says to Walter, “I ain’t never stop trusting you. Like I ain’t never stop loving you.” Do you think she is wise in equating trust so closely with love? In Walter’s case, why might it be hasty to assume one because of the other?

Act II, Scene 3
1. On page 111, Beneatha says, “I guess I always think things have more emphasis if they are big somehow, to which Ruth replies that she and her brother seem to have that as a life philosophy. What are some of the ways Beneatha does things on a grand scale? What are some of the ways Walter does? Do they have the same kind of values as to what they do “big”?

2. How might you be able to tell that Karl Lindner is operating from hatred and discrimination instead of, as he implies, wanting what is best for the Youngers? What are some of the ways a person can tell what really motivates him?

1. Do you think Beneatha will go with Joseph Asagai to practice medicine in Nigeria? Why or why not?

2. When Mrs. Younger stands in the empty apartment, looking around it for the last time, what do you think she is thinking of? Why?

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