Discuss the title of the play. How does it relate to the dreams of the main characters?
The title of the play ‘A Raisin in the Sun’, by Lorraine Hansberry, is a very important factor in the play. It helps us to understand the various different hopes and dreams of the members of the Younger family, and is assisted in doing this by an epigraph at the beginning of the play which expands the title.
The title ‘A Raisin in the Sun’, represents something that was once fruitful, ripe and colourful, but is now dull, shrivelled and brown, just like a raisin that has been sitting in the sun. This play makes it clear that the term ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ can be applied to many different concepts other than a raisin itself. One example of this is the hopes and dreams of the characters within the play. Throughout the play we learn of the dreams of each member of the younger family, and Mama’s hopes and dreams for her family.
Mama, or Mrs Johnson, is the mother of Walter Younger. Mama is an extremely caring, considerate character who cares a lot about her family and wants the best for them. Mama’s hopes and dreams consist of a full and healthy life for every member of her family. She dreams of them all living in “a little old two-story somewhere, with a yard”, and for her family to be happy. These dreams are consistent throughout the whole play, despite the number of set-backs the family encounter on their journey to realising these dreams. This is represented by Mama’s plant, which she continues to care for and nurture throughout the play, which is symbolic of the way Mama never gives up on her dreams. This concept relates to the title of the play in the way that, at the start of the play, the insurance check received by the family meant that there was in fact a chance of realising the family’s dreams. However, when the insurance check is blown away by Walter, despite Mama still holding on to her dreams, in reality, the chance of realising her dreams had been somewhat...