Read A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry Robert A. Nemiroff Online

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"Never before, the entire history of the American theater, has so much of the truth of black people's lives been seen on the stage," observed James Baldwin shortly before A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway in 1959.Indeed Lorraine Hansberry's award-winning drama about the hopes and aspirations of a struggling, working-class family living on the South Side of Chicago con"Never before, the entire history of the American theater, has so much of the truth of black people's lives been seen on the stage," observed James Baldwin shortly before A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway in 1959.Indeed Lorraine Hansberry's award-winning drama about the hopes and aspirations of a struggling, working-class family living on the South Side of Chicago connected profoundly with the psyche of black America--and changed American theater forever.  The play's title comes from a line in Langston Hughes's poem "Harlem," which warns that a dream deferred might "dry up/like a raisin in the sun.""The events of every passing year add resonance to A Raisin in the Sun," said The New York Times.  "It is as if history is conspiring to make the play a classic."  This Modern Library edition presents the fully restored, uncut version of Hansberry's landmark work with an introduction by Robert Nemiroff....

Title : A Raisin in the Sun
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780679601722
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 151 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Raisin in the Sun Reviews

  • Brina
    2018-12-06 07:07

    In 1959, 29 year old Lorraine Hansberry wrote A Raisin in the Sun, which went on to become "one of a handful of great American plays." Five years later she would succumb to cancer but not before Raisin penetrated the upper echelon of American plays. What is remarkable about Hansberry's rise to stardom is that she was virtually unknown and African American at a time when African Americans were just starting to make gains in society. And yet Raisin made to Broadway and television, cementing its place as a classic American play. The year is sometime between World War II and 1959, when Hansberry first produced this play. The Younger family of Chicago's south side has lived in a two flat apartment for as long as they can remember. Upon the death of the family's patriarch Big Walter, Mama Lena stands to gain $10,000 in life insurance money. At the time, this was a considerable sum of money, and Mama desired to use it fulfill the American dream- buy a house, put her daughter through college, invest in her son's business plans. Yet, things do not go according to plan. Hansberry has created memorable characters in Mama, her daughter Beneatha, son Walter Lee, and daughter-in-law Ruth. Beneatha represents the new black woman, attempting to finish medical school at a time when few blacks or women became doctors. She also was enticed by the back to Africa movement popular at the time even though her family believed her to have a brighter future in America. Meanwhile, Walter Lee dreams of starting a chain of businesses and moving up in the world so that his children could have a brighter future than the life he and has parents have lived. His wife Ruth shares those dreams to a certain extent and like any family there is tension between the couple, which Hansberry pens eloquently. Hansberry touches on the racial prejudices still prevalent even in northern cities in the years between Jackie Robinson integrating baseball and the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Whites torched blacks' properties, paid them not to move into their neighborhoods, or started the white flight movement. The Youngers want to fulfill the American dream that had been absent to them in their years as slaves, sharecroppers, chauffeurs, and maids. Their white would-be neighbors want to do all in their power to prevent this from happening. Hansberry's words ring out today as much as they did in 1959. The tensions had be captivated to find out the denouement and must have been even more powerful on stage, with gifted actors as Esther Rolle as Mama and Sidney Poitier as Walter Lee. Yet, these words still are poignant when read in book form these 57 years later. Lorraine Hansberry penetrated the inner circle of American playwrights at a time when African Americans had a select few role models to look up to. Her play is still discussed in schools as a lesson in race relations and tolerance to all people. In a short five years between Raisin's debut and her untimely death, she penned three more plays as well as memoirs, which had been released posthumously. I rate Hansberry's everlasting contribution to American play writing, A Raisin in the Sun, 5 bright stars. I look forward to reading her other plays.

  • Carol
    2018-11-21 07:06

    Ten stars, please. All the stars for Ms. Hansberry's haunting, revealing play. As fresh in 2018 as it was in 1958.

  • Fabian
    2018-12-03 10:53

    May just possibly be my all time favorite American play*. The circuit is so taut, the story is so heartbreaking, life-altering and thought-provoking--I cannot wait to ever catch it live.At 29, Hansberry orchestrated something even Arthur Miller & Tennessee Williams wanted--a TRUE portrait of the American Family, how the roles are intertwined and dependent upon the others. The maestros don't come as close as she, I am inclined to think...*Well... a more modern work, "Angels in America" makes it sort of a tie!

  • Carol
    2018-11-21 04:50

    First published in 1959, this play tells the story of a poor African-American family ruled by "mama" who has big plans to make a better life for her family, but must wait for "the check" and overcome a few obstacles along the way. (like her bitter and self-absorbed son Walter)Set in a small rundown roach-infested apartment on Chicago's south side, A RAISIN IN THE SUN brings to light issues of racism and segregation, but also family pride and forgiveness.Another surprisingly good play!

  • Diane
    2018-11-18 05:06

    What an outstanding play!Recently I saw an excellent production of A Raisin in the Sun, and it was so good I decided to reread the play. I first read this in college during a course on African American Theater, and as part of the class we watched the 1961 film, starring Sidney Poitier in the role he debuted on Broadway in 1959. The film is great, but this was my first time seeing the play performed live, and it was incredibly moving. The story follows the Youngers, a black family in Chicago's Southside in the 1950s. All the scenes are set in their cramped apartment, and we quickly learn that tensions are high for the family. The matriarch, Mama Lena, recently lost her husband and is expecting a $10,000 insurance check. Her son, Walter, is drunk with hope that he can use that money to invest in a liquor store. Meanwhile, Mama's daughter, Beneatha, is in college and wants to be a doctor, but she's also juggling two very different suitors, George and Asagai. Walter's wife, Ruth, learns she's pregnant and is worried for the future. The couple's young son, Travis, is forced to sleep on the living room couch every night, and Ruth is worried things will never get better.What is impressive about this play is how many social issues come up in the family conversations, but it never feels forced. It's just life as it is, and the play became a landmark not just because it was the first time a black woman wrote a play that was performed on Broadway, but because of how relatable these family problems were. Parents not understanding their children. Children experimenting with different cultures. Adults wanting their life to mean more than just an hourly wage. Everyone wishing for a nicer home. What family can't relate to this?If you ever have a chance to see a production of A Raisin in the Sun, I highly recommend it. Five stars for Lorraine Hansberry.NoteThe title of the play is taken from a poem by Langston Hughes:What happens to a dream deferred?Does it dry upLike a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore —And then run?Does it stink like rotten meatOr crust and sugar over —Like a syrupy sweet?Maybe it just sagsLike a heavy load.Or does it explode?Favorite QuotesMAMA: Something has changed ... In my time we was worried about not being lynched and getting to the North if we could and how to stay alive and still have a pinch of dignity, too ... Now here come you and Beneatha — talking 'bout things we ain't never even thought about hardly, me and your daddy. You ain't satisfied or proud of nothing we done. I mean that you had a home; that we kept you out of trouble till you was grown; that you don't have to ride to work on the back of nobody's streetcar — You my children — but how different we done become.ASAGAI: Then isn't there something wrong in a house — in a world — where all dreams, good or bad, must depend on the death of a man?MAMA: Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain't through learning — because that ain't the time at all. It's when he's at his lowest and can't believe in hisself 'cause the world done whipped him so! When you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.

  • Joel
    2018-12-07 06:02

    What happens to a dream deferred?Does it dry uplike a raisin in the sun?Or fester like a sore--And then run?Does it stink like rotten meat?Or crust and sugar over--like a syrupy sweet?Maybe it just sagslike a heavy load.Or does it explode?I decided to assign this to my Honors American Lit class before I had even read it myself. I'm so glad I did! I really enjoyed the characters. And while students get a kick out of lines like "Why you always wear them faggoty white shoes?" it also deals with some important ideas about material versus spiritual or transcendental goals, about self-identity, and what it is to be a man. I was pleased and moved.

  • Huda Aweys
    2018-12-15 08:52

    عن الظروف الاجتماعية للسود .. مشاكلهم و حياتهم في امريكا ..، مسرحية رائعة ادخلتنى الى عالمهم ..و جعلتني اعايش آلامهم .. آمالهم .. طموحاتهم ..، كاتبة مرهفه و موهوبة فعلا انها تقدر توّصل كل دا ، و مترجمة موهوبة كمان و امينة على ما اتذكر :) ، لأنى قرأت الكتاب دا زمان من فترة طويلة الحقيقة

  • leynes
    2018-12-13 13:05

    A Raisin in the Sun (1959) is hands down one of my favorite plays. Usually, only Oscar (my smol son) can lure me in with his dramas but Lorraine might have snatched that crown from his hands. Where Oscar is witty and hilarious, Lorraine is ruthless and raw. She doesn't shy away from showing the harsh reality black people, especially black women, faced in the United States.What happens to a dream deferred?      Does it dry up      like a raisin in the sun?      Or fester like a sore—      And then run?      Does it stink like rotten meat?      Or crust and sugar over—      like a syrupy sweet?      Maybe it just sags      like a heavy load.      Or does it explode?– Harlem (by Langston Hughes)Hughes was specifically addressing the situation of blacks in America, who had been systematically denied access to the various American dreams of education, career, purchasing power, etc. Asking if deferred dreams explode is a subtle (or not so subtle) way of reminding readers that deferred dreams don’t always decay and disappear; they can very well trigger explosions.The epigraph is a way for Hansberry to point to both the universal nature of her play – everyone has dreams – and its particular nature – black Americans have been forced to defer their dreams more than others.The play speaks to issues that are now inescapable: value systems of the black family; concepts of African American beauty and identity; class and generational conflicts; the relationships of husbands and wives, black men and women; the outspoken (if then yet unnamed) feminism of the daughter; and, in the penultimate scene between Beneatha and Asagai, the larger statement of the play which functions as a mirror to the central battle of its time: integration vs pan-africanism. The story tells of a black family's experiences in the Washington Park Subdivision of Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood as they attempt to "better" themselves with an insurance payout of $10,000 following the death of the father. Walter and Ruth Younger, their son Travis, along with Walter's mother Lena (Mama) and Walter's sister Beneatha, live in poverty in a dilapidated two-bedroom apartment on Chicago's south side. Walter is barely making a living as a limousine driver. Though Ruth is content with their lot, Walter is not and desperately wishes to become wealthy. His plan is to invest in a liquor store in partnership with Willy and Bobo, street-smart acquaintances of Walter's.While all this is going on, Beneatha's character and direction in life are being defined for us by two different men: Beneatha's wealthy and educated boyfriend George Murchison, and Joseph Asagai. George represents the "fully assimilated black man" who denies his African heritage with a "smarter than thou" attitude, which Beneatha finds disgusting, while dismissively mocking Walter's lack of money and education. Asagai patiently teaches Beneatha about her African heritage; he gives her thoughtfully useful gifts from Africa, while pointing out she is unwittingly assimilating herself into white ways. She straightens her hair, for example, which he characterizes as "mutilation."A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway, as well as the first with a black director (Lloyd Richards). With a cast in which all but one minor character is African-American, A Raisin in the Sun was considered a risky investment, and it took over a year for producer Philip Rose to raise enough money to launch it. There was disagreement with how it should be played, with focus on the mother or focus on the son. When the play hit New York, Poitier played it with the focus on the son and found not only his calling but an audience enthralled.However, the reception of the play showed in a shocking way the disconnect between white and black culture in the US. While the play was celebrated by white and black audiences alike, the reasons were completely different ones. Thus, in many reviews from white people (and later academic studies), the Younger family was transformed into an acceptably 'middle class' family. The decision to move became a desire to 'integrate' (rather than, as Mama says simply, 'to find the nicest house for the least amount of money for my family … Them houses they put up for colored in them areas way out always seem to cost twice as much.')The Younger family is part of the black majority, and the concerns dismissed as 'middle class' – buying a home and moving into 'white folks' neighborhoods' – are actually reflective of the essence of black people's striving and the will to defeat segregation, discrimination, and national oppression. There is no such thing as 'white folks' neighborhood' except to racists and to those submitting to racism. Mama herself – about whose "acceptance" of her "place" in the society there is not a word in the play, and who, in quest of her family's survival over the soul- and body-crushing conditions of the ghetto, is prepared to defy housing-pattern taboos, threats, bombs, and God knows what else – became the safely "conservative" matriarch, upholder of the social order and proof that if one only perseveres with faith, everything will come out right in the end and the-system-ain't-so-bad-after-all. At the same time, necessarily, Big Walter Younger – the husband who reared this family with her and whose unseen presence and influence can be heard in every scene – vanished from analysis. And perhaps most ironical of all to the playwright, who had herself as a child been almost killed in such a real-life story, the climax of the play became, pure and simple, a "happy ending" – despite the fact that it leaves the Youngers on the brink of what will surely be, in their new home, at best a nightmare of uncertainty. ("If he thinks that's a happy ending," said Hansberry in an interview, "I invite him to come live in one of the communities where the Youngers are going!")In her early childhood, Lorraine's parents bought a house in the white neighborhood of Washington Park, an action that resulted in a legal case (Hansberry v. Lee (1940)). Lorraine reflects upon the litigation in her book To Be Young, Gifted, and Black:Twenty-five years ago, [my father] spent a small personal fortune, his considerable talents, and many years of his life fighting, in association with NAACP attorneys, Chicago’s ‘restrictive covenants’ in one of this nation's ugliest ghettos. That fight also required our family to occupy disputed property in a hellishly hostile ‘white neighborhood’ in which literally howling mobs surrounded our house. ... My memories of this ‘correct’ way of fighting white supremacy in America include being spat at, cursed and pummeled in the daily trek to and from school. And I also remember my desperate and courageous mother, patrolling our household all night with a loaded German Luger (pistol), doggedly guarding her four children, while my father fought the respectable part of the battle in the Washington court.The play develops the theme of standing up to racial discrimination by fighting it on many fronts. By cowing down to threats by whites or by accepting financial considerations to accept the demands made by the whites only make life harder for the colored people. In the play, the Younger family aspires to better living conditions and better education. They are conscientious law abiding citizens but the neighbors cannot see beyond their color.In addition to its brilliant exploration of timely themes such as the emasculation of the black man and the consequences of instutionalized racism, the play could score in other areas as well, especially with its humour. Hansberry had a knack for including scenes that were absolutely true-to-life while still exploring the comedy of the situation:Ruth: What kind of eggs do you want?Walter: Not scrambled. (RUTH starts to scramble eggs)I have never encountered a more loving and real family in fiction. Lorraine balanced the heart-wrenching and light-hearted scenes with excellence. A Raisin in the Sun made me laugh and cry and above all, think. You need this in your life!

  • Shannon (Giraffe Days)
    2018-11-26 10:53

    There are more than a few established classics that I had never heard of until I did my teaching degree here in Canada. Since everyone else had come through the Canadian school system, they were very knowing about "The Lottery", Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird and A Raisin in the Sun. These established American classics got blank looks from me. Well, not so much Mockingbird; I'd heard of that one a couple of years before, and the name was familiar to me from before moving here. But I'd never heard of A Raisin in the Sun. Here in Toronto, grade 9 kids watch the movie and read the play, and it seems to make a lasting impression, given how excited the adults in my English class at OISE* were every time it was mentioned. Since I wanted to teach English (and History) here**, I thought I better brush up on the local canon (no one seemed to notice or care that their institutionalised English canon was largely American, even though there are plenty of good Canadian works around - neglected, but hanging on all the same).If, like me, you aren't familiar with this play from the 50s, here's a quick run-down: set in Chicago in the small and dingy apartment of a black family, the play is about the dreams of these family members - Lena Younger ("Mama"), her son Walter and daughter Beneatha, Walter's wife Ruth and their young boy Travis - and their excitement and anticipation for a cheque of ten thousand dollars from the life insurance of Lena's husband. They each have dreams of what they could do with the money, which belongs to Lena. She wants to put most of it towards Beneatha's medical degree so she can be a doctor. Ruth wants a home of her own. Her husband Walter wants the money to get into a bottle-shop business with two other men, so he can quit being a chauffeur to some rich white family.Money, as usual, causes more problems than it solves, but in the case of the Younger family it's more complicated than that. There's so much subtlety in this play, so much going on in the small details. It's exquisitely written, simple, honest, forthright, daring, vulnerable, earnest, and yearning. Each character captures so much, embodies so much (they are each a cliché, it's true, but that only makes them even more representative - plus, clichés are clichés because they're true, not because they're unoriginal; at least, that's how they start). They are believable as individuals and as part of a family - and also as spokespeople for their fellows. They way they speak, each with their own distinct cadence and pronunciation and diction; their ideals and aspirations: they live and breath on the page just as they would on the stage.What really struck me as I was reading this, is that if you had told me it was written last year, or anytime really, I would have believed you. It still seems so current, so relevant. Yes, regarding black people in a white-dominated world, but also regarding the lower classes, the working poor. Even if race relations were better than they are, class divisions persist just as rottenly as ever. This story really impressed me. I ached for them. I felt what they felt, even when these feelings contradicted themselves as the family members came head-to-head - especially against Walter. You can't help but empathise with them all, in an earthy, human, organic way. And considering how little, really, has changed - yes, the play is just as relevant and timely as ever, not just in America (for which I can't personally speak) but just as especially in other ex-British colonies like Canada and Australia, which are more multi-cultural but just as divisive in their way. There's more going on this play that class and race. Beneatha represents a struggle for identity and frustrated feminism, and her friend Joseph Asagai brings the larger, political spectrum into their living room - especially interesting in the context of having recently read Half of a Yellow Sun. There's the issue of rights, of responsibility and morality, and a day-to-day struggle that felt familiar. I like how the play's described in the blurb, as "authentic, unsentimental and unflinching" - three excellent words to capture the quality of this play.____________________________________________________* OISE stands for "Ontario Institute for Studies in Education"; it's part of the University of Toronto. Apparently it's the most difficult place to get into for a teaching degree - really it just has the best location so everyone applies and they get their pick of the best. ** I still do want to teach here, but at graduation I discovered that there are no teaching jobs in the province. Now I'm working at the Ministry of Education and it's even clearer than before that the jobs don't exist - not even for French teachers, not anymore. Scary times. So, my perfect job has been shelved until things improve.

  • booklady
    2018-12-06 07:59

    Hansberry's death from cancer at 34 just six years after the publication and first production of Raisin in the Sun was a real loss to both the literary and dramatic worlds. Not everyone likes to read plays; I enjoy them. This one is exceptional. The characters are well-defined, real, memorable; the interaction among them vibrant, interesting, at times gut-wrenching, never dull. Raisin is a snapshot of black urban life on the eve of the sixties, just before the civil rights movement. And yet, we who know history can read the play as Monday morning quarterbacks and see the foreshadowing in changing hairstyles and generational disputes. Three generations of Youngers share a two room flat in Chicago and struggle to maintain family, dignity, dreams, life and morality against often insurmountable odds. Most highly recommended!

  • Eryn☘
    2018-12-03 08:51

    3/5 StarsWell, this play was pretty decent. It was entertaining enough and all of that ... and yet, I still don't like reading plays. Therefore, I wasn't about to give this anything more than an average rating. So while I appreciated how this took place in Chicago (so I could visualize everything that much better), and how I could relate to Beneatha and her struggle at becoming a doctor, when everyone was pushing her to become a nurse - because that's more of a "female" job - I lacked a connection with everything/anything else.So, overall, it was a good play. But it's probably much better acted out, as opposed to being read.

  • Bettie☯
    2018-12-04 06:58

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06yp4czDescription: This ground-breaking play, set on Chicago's South Side in the 1950's, revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of an Afro-American working-class family. A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway. In this new production for radio, rarely produced scenes from the original play, which were cut from the original film and stage and subsequent contemporary stage productions, have been reinstated.Walter Lee Younger ....... Danny SapaniLena Younger (Mama) ....... Dona CrollRuth Younger ...... Nadine MarshallBeneatha Younger ...... Lenora CritchlowTravis Younger ...... Segun FawoleAsagai/Bobo ..... Jude AkwudikeMrs. Johnson ..... Cecelia NobleKarl Lindner ...... Sean BakerGeorge Murchinson...... Richard PeppleProduced and directed by Pauline HarrisFurther Info.A Raisin In The Sun has been hailed as a "pivotal play in the history of the American Black theatre". The Broadway production opened in 1959 and starred Sidney Poitier and was winner of the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award as Best Play of the Year. Hansberry was the first black playwright and the youngest ever American to win the award. The film version of A Raisin In The Sun was released in 1961, and honoured with a special award at the Cannes Film Festival.All experiences in this play echo a lawsuit to which the playwright Lorraine Hansberry's family was a party when they fought to have their day in court because a previous class action about racially motivated restrictive covenants was similar to the case at hand.By portraying a black family with a greater realism and complexity than ever before, the twenty-eight year old Lorraine Hansberry forced both blacks and whites to re-examine the deferred dreams of black America and forever changed the American theatre.Lorraine Vivian Hansberry (May 19, 1930 - January 12, 1965) Hansberry inspired Nina Simone's song "To Be Young, Gifted and Black".** I also like the remake of this song by Bob & Marcia - the days of school discos.

  • Anabel (inthebookcorner)
    2018-11-19 05:47

    loved it. I really want to go see this play at the Harlem theatre.

  • Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
    2018-12-10 12:02

    Weathervane Playhouse is putting on a production of this incredible show just down the street from my house, opening this weekend, and I'm running the sound board for a few shows. I went to my first (and perhaps only -- eek!) rehearsal last night and homg. I was excited because hello, this is a classic, but I was NOT expecting to be so enveloped in the story while half my brain was concentrating on learning sound cues. It's really a testament to Ms Hansberry's incredible dialogue, because 95% of the time I was reading along with the script and unable to watch the actors onstage, but GOD. What an incredible show. Twice I found myself sitting there at the sound board with tears running down my face, because it just felt like these words were punching me in the stomach. The cast have absolutely embedded themselves in these roles and are fascinating to watch and listen to as they move through the show. Everyone should either see or read this play at some point in their lives, it has such a strong message.I'm over here kicking myself because I could have seen Denzel Washington, Anika Noni Rose, Sophie Okonedo, and Sean Patrick Thomas in this play when I was in NYC last summer but I picked Aladdin instead. Alas.

  • Camille
    2018-12-09 11:45

    This will always be my favorite stage play

  • Sophia
    2018-11-19 08:38

    so good!!!

  • Thomas
    2018-12-14 07:55

    A Raisin in the Sun details the story of a working-class family struggling to make ends meet. The Youngers are then faced with a difficult decision that brings their colored heritage and the lives of their ancestors to the forefront.Although this book and Death of a Salesman have some similar themes, what makes A Raisin in the Sun much better is its dynamic dialogue and the conflicting desires of its characters. While not perfectly three-dimensional, each family member in the story had an idea or belief that drove them forward. Not all of the characters were likable, especially Walter, but they worked well together in terms of their times of communion and crisis. I empathized a lot with Beneatha - the obstacles she overcame in such a racist, cruel community to express herself and find her dreams spoke to me. I also need a man like Asagai in my life.Hansberry could have expanded the size of the story to further flesh out the many themes within it, but she portrayed them well with what she did write. The American dream, racism, money, etc. are all touched upon, which is why I suppose so many high schoolers are exposed to this work.Overall, a solid play with strong characters. Not the most mind-blowing book, but not one that's sleep-inducing either.*review cross-posted on my blog, the quiet voice.

  • Conner Zimmermann
    2018-11-30 08:03

    I honestly think this was a very bad choice by Ms. E. I cannot think of a single person in our bell that was actually interested in this. This book might have even made me a little more stupid. This is by far the worst book I have read this year. The characters were imbeciles, just because they get some money doesn't mean that they go and spend it all on a house right away. This book was horrific, making me want to tear my eyes out of my head so that I would not have to continue to read this waste of ink, being a disgrace to all plays ever written. Beneatha, wow.... A character can not get any dumber than this. She attempts to return to her African heritage and support her culture. But, she just makes her heritage and herself look bad. She screams random words so that she would feel like she was a tribal african. She has two boyfriends, but if I had to guess, I would say she is very, very ugly. So, I don't see how she could possibly have one boyfriend. This book is an absolute disgrace. I am extremely upset that I ever had to even read this book.

  • Jennifer Lynn Harrison
    2018-11-21 07:52

    SO MUCH BETTER THAN I EVEN REMEMBERED! I feel like I have gone from feeling 'meh' about this title to completely falling in love with it during this re-read. What has happened to make me change my opinion so greatly?...Perhaps the fact is that I am now older and thus, better able to appreciate/absorb/understand this play more so than I did whilst reading it over a decade ago. OR, perhaps the difference in my opinion lays in the fact that this time, I *chose* to (re)read this title, instead of *having to read it* for a class. Or, perhaps I now understand that era of American history better than I did upon 1st reading (most of my history classes were about Canadian history until I got to university) and this led me to enjoy the social commentary of 1959's America that Hansberry provided...Anyways-no matter *which* factor influenced the newfound adoration I felt during my re-read, I don't care. I am just happy that I re-read this play, and (re)discovered a GEM of a story...as I said, this play is SO MUCH BETTER THAN I EVEN REMEMBERED!Also- to the group here on the site that chose THIS as their 'play of the month' Group Read, I am in your debt. This one is bumped up to 5 stars. It is not only a great STORY in general, but as you're reading, you can SEE how it would be a great PLAY, as well. That's a good playwright right there, I think. Plus, with only 5 characters, (well-not counting those who are not in every Act, like 'movers' or Bennie's 'boyfriends')-with 5 characters, Hansberry is able to portray SO MANY DIFFERENT Characters- even more so than these 5; but using only 5 to do it! For example, 'Walter Lee' is many things, and actually has many different character traits- more so than I gave him for upon my first read. Also, I had forgotten how much 'Bennie' is 'the college student', 'the dreamer', 'the fair maiden with offers from men', 'the serious woman who wants to be a doctor in a time when females just ARE NOT doctors', 'the sister', 'the aunt', 'the daughter', 'the revolutionary', 'the Black woman in her 20's', 'the educated Black woman', 'the atheist', 'the sister-in-law', 'the rebellious daughter', etc. At least, she embodies all of those things/characters to me. At the end of the play, I wanted to know more about HER story...This play is both hopeful and hopeless, at the start as well as at the end. It is up to society to determine WHY. The Younger family's society is the south side of Chicago in 1959, which was-almost *shockingly*- NOT a great time nor place to be a working class Black family- even worse than I would have thought. Personally, I forget just how very long segregation (informal or formal) existed (exists!?) in the United States and it is books like these that help the world to NOT forget such histories. Despite being a fictional play, it felt like realistic voyeurism, SUCH was the immediacy of the writing, (despite the 1959 slang, even.)Highly readable and absolutely unforgettable. Go NOW: Read. This. Play. --Jen from Quebec :0)

  • Rowena
    2018-12-02 12:58

    This was a quick read and I loved every page! I'm interested in watching the original version of the play with Sidney Poitier, looks good!

  • Laura
    2018-12-03 07:43

    From BBC Radio 3 - Drama on 3:This ground-breaking play, set on Chicago's South Side in the 1950's, revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of an Afro-American working-class family. A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway. In this new production for radio, rarely produced scenes from the original play, which were cut from the original film and stage and subsequent contemporary stage productions, have been reinstated.Walter Lee Younger ....... Danny SapaniLena Younger (Mama) ....... Dona CrollRuth Younger ...... Nadine MarshallBeneatha Younger ...... Lenora CritchlowTravis Younger ...... Segun FawoleAsagai/Bobo ..... Jude AkwudikeMrs. Johnson ..... Cecelia NobleKarl Lindner ...... Sean BakerGeorge Murchinson...... Richard PeppleProduced and directed by Pauline HarrisFurther Info.A Raisin In The Sun has been hailed as a "pivotal play in the history of the American Black theatre". The Broadway production opened in 1959 and starred Sidney Poitier and was winner of the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award as Best Play of the Year. Hansberry was the first black playwright and the youngest ever American to win the award. The film version of A Raisin In The Sun was released in 1961, and honoured with a special award at the Cannes Film Festival.All experiences in this play echo a lawsuit to which the playwright Lorraine Hansberry's family was a party when they fought to have their day in court because a previous class action about racially motivated restrictive covenants was similar to the case at hand.By portraying a black family with a greater realism and complexity than ever before, the twenty-eight year old Lorraine Hansberry forced both blacks and whites to re-examine the deferred dreams of black America and forever changed the American theatre.Lorraine Vivian Hansberry (May 19, 1930 - January 12, 1965) Hansberry inspired Nina Simone's song "To Be Young, Gifted and Black".http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06yp4cz

  • Jeffrey
    2018-12-02 08:48

    Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun is very deservedly considered a timeless classic. Unlike many other works from around the same era, Hansberry provokes and moves her audience without writing of complete devastation. To explain how her style and choices are different than her contemporaries, is to give away the ending. The denouement of A Raisin in the Sun is like no other of its genre. This is what makes it a classic. It is timeless because of Hansberry's presentation of the familial interaction of the characters. To say these relationships are very realistic is an understatement. The characters' interaction shows that no one can lift you up, tear you down, pleasantly surprise you, disappoint you, make you laugh, make you cry, truly love you, or truly hurt you quite as powerfully as your family can. And each character is easy to love and easy to find fault in and easy to forgive for their faults and love all over again. The story is powerful, moving, and funny quite often. And it is a rather important and unique accolade for Hansberry that A Raisin in the Sun opened the doors to black artists in the world of theatre wider than anything that came before it.

  •  Imani ♥ ☮
    2018-12-15 06:40

    Wow. We just finished reading this, me and my class. As a whole I don't think we really got it but I did. This book was awesome and I'm glad people appreciated it enough to make two movies out of it. Truly an amazing book. And even though I've read it a couple times now, I think I'll read it again someday! :)~~~~~~Reading this anew for a college seminar. I love the wit that I never really noticed Hansberry wrote into these characters. But more than even this, is the complexity of everyone -from Lena Younger to even little Travis. Amiri Baraka really pointed this out in a new version of the book, that Lena Younger as the family matriarch doesn't merely represent black conservatism. How could she when she is literally willing to risk making a home in an all white, blue collar neighborhood? Lena is a rebel in her own right and this recognition and complication of her as a character for me really brings to light how delicately and deliberately Hansberry wrote her characters. All these years after reading it, I've never loved so deeply a play...and I also don't think there is a play that quite encapsulates the spirit of urbanized Black Americans like this one does.

  • Shanae
    2018-12-09 08:48

    Great play. Great film. Everyone should read it...you can't say you truly love literature if you haven't read this one.

  • Laura Harrison
    2018-11-22 07:51

    An absolute favorite. Captivating with so much heart. Hansberry was a genius.

  • Ivonne Rovira
    2018-11-26 12:54

    Re-read this play after too many decades to remember. Still as powerful as ever. I'll be teaching it starting next week. My students are in for a treat!

  • Kyla Harris
    2018-12-03 11:59

    Fun book to read in English, sad and Walter drove me NUTS but all and all really good! I want to see this play so bad now.

  • Leslie
    2018-12-02 09:39

    3.5*While some aspects of this play are dated (it was written and first performed in the 1950s), the characters and their relationships still ring true. I have seen the film version with Sidney Poitier a few times and this is one play where the movie is better than the text. I did find the stage directions describing the setting informative and I am glad that I read this but I do feel that I didn't gain much by reading it after having seen the film. That is often the case with plays which are of course meant to be seen rather than read!

  • Diana Long
    2018-11-18 06:39

    This indeed is a powerful portrayal of a black family living in Chicago who have dreams and aspirations of a better life. The full cast of the recording were brilliant in their performances and brought so much emotion to the play. Exceptional story and highly recommend.

  • sydney
    2018-12-14 07:47

    This is a great play. Part of the reason I loved it is because I saw some former students act out scenes from it last month, and they were amazing. But! One of the reasons they were able to be so amazing is because this is a great play. It touches on common themes-- the American dream, generation gaps, family, race relations, identity. Hansberry gets dialogue just right. Her characters are strong and relatable. It's funny and moving at the same time and still makes sense fifty years after it was written. Basically, it's the story of a working-class black family living in Chicago's Southside "sometime between World War II and the present." Lena Younger lives in a small apartment with her daughter, Beneatha, her son, Walter, his wife, Ruth, and their son, Travis. The Youngers share a bathroom with several other families on the hall, work hard to make ends meet, and dream of change-- whether that be by moving to a "better" neighborhood, opening a liquor store and getting rich, going to Africa, planting a garden, or becoming a doctor. The play revolves around Lena (Mama) awaiting the arrival of a $10,000 life insurance check from the recent death of her husband. Different members of the family have different ideas about how to use the money. (Mama initially wants to send Beneatha to med school, while Walter wants to pool it with some friends to open a liquor store.) Finally, Mama shocks everyone by announcing that she's bought the family a house in all-white Clybourne Park. The rest of the play builds to moving day, highlighting the reactions to Mama's announcement by black neighbors and friends, white Clybourne Park residents, and the Youngers themselves. Mama's choice forces everyone to reexamine their own identities as they face an unfamiliar future, one with seeming potential to both threaten and save the family.Highly recommended! I read this in one day.