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A Review Of A Rasin In The

Sun Essay, Research Paper

Jims Review of A Raisin in the Sun.

This is probably the first play I’ve ever seen that I REALLY HEATED.

A Raisin in the Sun

The Madison Repertory Theatre has produced many plays by African American

playwrights recently, such as last year’s From the Mississippi Delta, but their

most recent, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun is certainly one of the


The play starts in a darkened living room. Ruth Younger wakes her family on a

Friday morning. Her father-in-law has recently died, and the family is awaiting

the arrival of the insurance money. Her husband, Walter, has plans to use it to

buy a liquor store, but wife doesn’t believe he belongs in business. Beneatha,

Walter’s sister daughter, hopes to use the money for her tuition for medical

school. Walter’s mother, Lena (Mama), plans to use the money for a house for the

family. On top of all this, Ruth has discovered that she is pregnant.

In an effort to find a true identity, Beneatha has shunned her mother’s

religious beliefs and has taken an interest in Asagai, a Nigerian student.

Asagai brings her a tribal drum recording and a robe from his country. Beneatha

is also being pursued by another suitor. George Murchison, a student belonging

to the upper class also has an interest in her, and regards her embracement of

African culture as childish.

After the money arrives, Mama leaves to “take care of some business.” When she

returns, she announces just what it was that she did do: she has bought the

family a house…in Clybourne Park, an all-white neighborhood. Mama then

entrusts the rest of the money to Walter, to invest in his sister’s education,

and to put the rest into a savings account under his name. Walter promises his

son Travis a great future, and promptly invests it in his liquor store.

While packing, the family is visited by Karl Linder from the Clyborne Park

Community Improvement Association, and a white man. Linder explains that the

Younger family might not be welcomed in Clybourne Park, and might be better off

living in a black neighborhood. “It has nothing to do with racial prejudice,” he

explains. To make matters worse, Bobo, Walter’s friend comes to say that the

third member of their team, who had been entrusted with all the money is gone.


In desperation, Walter calls Linder to buy the house back, but after a talk with

his family, they decide to keep the house.

Overall, I think that A Raisin in the Sun is an excellent play. The actors all

have impressive credentials, Ronald R. Mc Call (Joseph Asagai) has made numerous

television and movie appearances such as Fried Green Tomatoes, I’ll Fly Away,

and In the Heat of the Night, as has Cedric Young (Walter Lee Younger), who has

been in Ghost Writer, Law and Order, As the World Turns, Backdraft, The Paper,

Home Alone II, and Rapid Fire. My only qualm about the play was that Travis,

played by Michael Tyler Davis and Derek Stanley acted a bit stiff and wooden,

but that’s almost to be expected of such a young actor.

With its lighthearted view of a very serious situation, A Raisin in the Sun is

definitely worth seeing.

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