A Raisin In the Sun Review
Characters, plot, themes, symbols, and other information pertaining to study of A Raisin in the Sun.
Terms in this set (103)
The flawed protagonist/main character. Wants to use the insurance money to open a liquor store.
Mama's daughter and Walter's sister. In college, and better educated than the rest of her family. She wants to be a doctor. She has had many hobbies.
Walter and Beneatha's mother. She wants to use the insurance money to get a house in a better neighborhood. She worries about her family falling apart.
Walter's wife and Travis's mother. She is caught in the middle of the fight over the money. Discovers she is going to have a baby and considers an abortion.
Walter and Ruth's young son. Eager to help his family. Plays outside with the rats. Sleeps on the sofa because there is no room.
Nigerian student who is dating Beneatha. Proud of his African heritage, wants Beneatha to return to Nigeria with him.
Wealthy African-American man who courts Beneatha. He ignores his African culture and is becoming absorbed into the white culture, which makes him an assimilationist. He and Beneatha argue about this.
Mr. Karl Lindner
The only white character in the play. Tries to pay the Youngers NOT to move into an all white neighborhood.
A friend of Walter and coordinator of the liquior store plan. Ruth frequently criticizes him.
The setting for A Raisin in the Sun. Specifically, the southside.
The white neighborhood where Mama plans to buy a house.
A member of a minority group who tries to blend in with the majority culture.
Walter Lee's job.
Mama's plant as a symbol
Symbolizes the unhealthy state of Mama's family, because they live in such a bad environment
Eat your eggs.
Ruth's response when Walter tries to tell her about his dream for a better life.
Author of A Raisin in the Sun.
$10,000 check coming to the family because of the death of Walter Senior.
A Raisin in the Sun
the first play on Broadway that was written by an African-American woman
Why did Walter ask Ruth what was wrong with her in Act I?
She was kind-of crabby and tired-looking.
Why was Ruth upset when Walter gave Travis 50 cents?
They don't have money to spare. Also, Walter needed that money to get to work and had to get another 50 cents from Ruth.
Who are Willy and Bobo?
They are two "friends" of Walter's who want him to go in partners with them in a liquor store.
Walter said, "Damn my eggs . . . damn all the eggs that ever was!" Why?
He has been telling Ruth about his dream and she tells him to eat his eggs. He wants to talk and dream of a better life; she wants him to face reality and deal with his present world. This makes him frustrated, makes him feel like she doesn't support him.
Who is Beneatha?
She is Walter's sister who wants to become a doctor.
Why was Mama getting a check for $10,000?
It was money coming from her husband's life insurance policy.
Why did Beneatha say she wouldn't marry George?
She admitted that he was rich, but she thought he was shallow. She liked him well enough to go out with him, but she didn't love him.
What was Beneatha's attitude towards God?
She said she did not accept the idea of God -- "there is only man and it is he who makes miracles."
What happened to Ruth at the end of Act I Scene One?
Who is Joseph Asagai?
He is a school friend of Beneatha and an African intellectual.
What did Ruth find out at the doctor's office?
She was pregnant.
Why is Asagai's nickname for Beneatha appropriate?
It means "One for Whom Bread - Food - Is Not Enough." It is appropriate because he as well as Beneatha and Walter want more from life than just survival. They want a better quality of life.
Where did Ruth actually go instead of the doctor's office?
She went to see a woman about having an abortion.
Why did Mama call Walter a disgrace to his father's memory?
He had become overly concerned with money and had lost his traditional family values, so much so that he didn't try to convince Ruth not to have an abortion.
Why didn't Beneatha want to be a doctor anymore?
She used to think that fixing people's ailments was the best thing to do. Now she thinks that physical ailments aren't the problem of society. People's hearts aren't true. She gives up on the human race and calls them "puny, small, and selfish." She sees no human battle worth fighting.
What does Asagai ask Beneatha to do?
He asks her to marry him and return to Africa with him to live.
What fault does Mama find with herself?
She says she aimed too high -- had too-high dreams.
What solution does Walter have to losing the money?
He thinks accepting the money from Lindner will solve their problem.
Why didn't Walter take the money Lindner offered?
Walter is a good, decent man underneath. His conscience and moral upbringing wouldn't let him ruin his family's pride.
Did the Youngers stay or move?
They did move.
Who was Karl Lindner, and why did he visit the Youngers' house?
He was from Clybourne Park Improvement Association. He was calling to ask the Youngers not to move into their white neighborhood. The association members were willing to pay the Youngers not to move in.
What was Walter's reaction to Lindner?
He told him to get out of their apartment.
What presents did Mama get?
She got gardening tools and a hat.
What news did Bobo bring to Walter?
He tells Walter that Willy took all of the money and left without a trace.
What did Mama do for Walter in terms of the money?
She turned the remaining money over to him. She said he should use $3,000 for Beneatha's school, and that he could do whatever he wanted with the remainder.
What was Beneatha's family doing when George came in?
Beneatha was in Nigerian dress. Beneatha and Walter were dancing and singing Nigerian songs. They looked rather crazy, and Walter was quite drunk.
What did Mama do with her money?
She bought (made a down payment on) a home.
What was Walter's reaction to Mama's purchase? Ruth's reaction?
Walter was very disappointed. Ruth was elated.
Family Dynamics and love
Dreams, Hope, and plans
Betrayal, Lies, and Deceit
Self acceptance and Dignity
"Harlem" by Langston Hughes
The title of this play comes from what poem?
Who says "There is always something left to love. And if you ain't learned that, you ain't learned nothing" in A Raisin in the Sun?
South Side of Chicago
Setting of the play?
Walter Lee Younger
The Youngers, a working-class black family, struggle against economic hardship and racial prejudice, what literary element of the plot does this describe?
What part of the plot? Bobo tells the Youngers that Willy has run off with all of Walter's invested insurance money; Asagai makes Beneatha realize that she is not as independent as she thinks.
What is the genre of A Raisin in the Sun?
Sometime after WWII
Time period of play setting?
From whom are the Youngers waiting for a check?
She is pregnant.
What does Ruth find out when she goes to the doctor?
He hasn't been to work in 3 days.
What does Walter's employer call to say?
gardening equipment and a large hat
What do the Youngers give Mama on the day they move?
Whether she will marry him and move to Africa
Near the end of the play, what does Asagai leave Beneatha to think about?
Willy Harris runs off with the $6,500.00
What happens to the money that Walter invests in the liquor store?
When he tells Mr. Lindner that they will move to Clybourne Park no matter what
At what point does Mama say that Walter has finally achieved his "manhood"
Who is the last to leave the Younger apartment at the end of the play?
handsome looks and money
Why do Ruth and Mama approve of George Murchison? (name two traits he has)
Where do Ruth and Walter go when they are becoming more hopeful about the future?
"Eat his eggs"
What does Ruth tell Walter to do when he complains incessantly about his life?
On the couch in the living room
Where does Travis sleep and what room?
In Act 2, When Walter is fooling around with Beneatha while she is dressed in the African robe and hat, what does Walter call himself?
From which country does Joseph Asagai come?
Give up moving to Clybourne Park
What does Karl Lindner want the Youngers to do?
Who says, "Oh—So now it's life. Money is life. Once upon a time freedom used to be life—now it's money. I guess the world really do change . ."?
Who says, "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?"
Who says, "We have decided to move into our house because my father—my father—he earned it for us brick by brick"?
Which symbol in the play represents the welfare of the family?
The insurance check
Which symbol represents hope for the future?
the Importance of /heritage
When mama talks about her ancestors and Beneath talks about the accomplishments of different African tribes, which theme from the play are they exalting?
The American Dream
When Walter explains his plans to own a liquor store and Beneatha stands her ground about becoming a doctor, these characters are supporting which prominent theme in the play?
the Importance of Family
When Mama buys the house for the family and when Mama walks back into the apartment to grab her plant before the closing curtain, which theme does this represent?
When Walter decides to move the family to the new house by turning down Lindner's offer, and when Beneatha explains to Asagai that the apartment doesn't always look so messy, these are examples of which theme?
What does it mean when a dream is deferred?
something that is put off
She is using personification; the furnishings of the house embody the struggle the family is enduring.
What literary device represents the furniture, carpet, and light from the window? Why?
Beneatha expects more out of life than the status quo
Asagai call Beneatha "Alaiyo" which means "One for Whom Bread Is Not Enough." What does he mean?
She gives him "control" over the money
What is the symbolism behind Mama making Walter the head of the household?
Is nothing more than a bunch of spirituals and some grass huts
According to George Murchison, the heritage of black Americans
She wants to obtain the best home for the least amount of money.
What is Mama's motive for buying a house in the all-white community of Clybourne Park?
Dreams of becoming a doctor
Is becoming a "settled" woman
Wants to earn money carrying groceries
A chauffeur who dreams of owning his own store
Man whose death brings the Youngers $10,000
Represents pride in African heritage
Thinks women only need to be pretty & sophisticated
Makes the Youngers a humiliating offer
A messenger of bad news
Walter orders him out of the house.
How does Walter first respond to Mr. Lindner's proposal about the house?
Joseph Asagai believes that black Americans should assimilate into the dominant
Mr. Lindner represents the Clybourne Park Welcoming Committee.
George Murchison respects Walter's dream.
Beneatha thinks George Murchison is a fool.
Walter's character is very static; that is, he does not change much throughout the
Walter admits to Ruth that he doesn't know how to become close to her.
Ruth becomes frantic and upset when Mama talks about canceling the move.