Was A Raisin in the Sun a play ahead of its time? Why or why not? What does Lorraine Hansberry have to say about the concept of the American dream? Why does the play continue to resonate with readers? What about it makes it great American theatre?
The title of the play comes from Langston Hughes’ poem “A Dream Deferred”:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?…
Or does it explode?
What happens to the Younger family’s dreams?
The play is often compared with Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Is this a valid comparison? Why or why not?
Is A Raisin in the Sun a good choice for students’ required reading in high school? Why or why not? If you read it in high school and are reading it again now, has the story changed for you?
How do you imagine the Younger family ten years later? Twenty years later? Fifty years later?
What kind of adjustments did you have to make to your usual book-reading style when reading A Raisin in the Sun? What’s easier or harder about reading a story in this format? Which do you prefer and why? Would the Younger family’s story have been as powerful if Lorraine Hansberry told it in novel form?
Have you had a chance to see the film A Raisin in the Sun? What’s your opinion of the film compared with the play?
On Tuesday night, you can watch Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee reprise their stage roles in the film version of A Raisin in the Sun. The showing starts at 6:15 at Albany Public Library’s Main Branch, 161 Washington Ave. See you then!
Join me in February for one of my favorite plays, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.
It’s been called “one of a handful of great American plays” by the Washington Post and its author, Lorraine Hansberry, was the youngest American playwright and first African American playwright to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play of the Year. The play was later adapted to an award-winning film starring Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee.
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