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Why study 'A Raisin in the Sun'?

Why study 'A Raisin in the Sun'?

'In a sense we've come to our nation's Capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check—a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.'

Four years earlier Lorraine Hansbury had picked up exactly the same point in the play 'A Raisin in the Sun'. She was heavily influenced by a predecessor of King's, the poet Langston Hughes........

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun?

Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

........hence the title of her play.

Why study 'A Raisin in the Sun'?

Edusites English - A Raisin in the Sun Resources


  • Summary and Overview New pdf
  • Composition and Critical Background New pdf
  • Setting and Context New pdf
  • Staging New pdf
  • Characters New pdf
  • Themes New pdf
  • The Past and the Future New pdf
  • The Dreams New pdf
  • The Threat of Violence New pdf
  • Poverty New pdf
  • Racism New pdf
  • Anti-Feminism New pdf
  • Obsession with Opportunity New pdf
  • Selfishness and Indifference New pdf

Mock Exams

Essay Titles & Indicative Content

  • It is easier to sympathise with Walter Lee Younger than to admire him. New pdf
  • What do we learn about the differences between Lena and Mrs. Johnson New pdf
  • In what ways and with what effects is the Younger’s home presented as a 'Rat Trap'? New pdf
  • How does Hansbury develop the dramatic tensions here and which character of the three evokes the greatest sympathy in you? New pdf
  • How is Racial Prejudice presented in the Play? New pdf
  • What is the unspoken agenda here? New pdf

Resourced Lessons on those difficult scenes

  • ARITS Lesson on Act 3 P128 to the end
  • ARITS Lesson Act Two Scene Three

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