Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” is a groundbreaking play that explores themes of race, family, and the American dream. The play follows the Younger family, an African American family living in Chicago’s South Side, as they grapple with the challenges of poverty, discrimination, and family conflicts. The play is divided into three acts, each of which builds on the previous one to create a powerful and thought-provoking narrative.
Raisin in the Sun PDF Act 1
Act 1 of “A Raisin in the Sun” introduces the audience to the Younger family and their cramped apartment on Chicago’s South Side. The matriarch of the family, Lena Younger, has just received a $10,000 insurance payout following the death of her husband. The family has different ideas about how to use the money, with Lena wanting to buy a house and her son Walter Lee wanting to use it to invest in a liquor store. The conflict between the two sets up the central conflict of the play and highlights the tension between the generations.
The first act also introduces the theme of racial discrimination, as Walter Lee struggles to find work and faces discrimination in the workplace. The character of Beneatha, Walter Lee’s sister, also represents the younger generation’s struggle to find their identity in a society that devalues their culture and heritage.
Raisin in the Sun PDF Act 2
In Act 2, the conflict between Lena and Walter Lee reaches a boiling point, with Lena using the insurance money to put a down payment on a house in a predominantly white neighborhood. The family also faces opposition from their new neighbors, who try to buy the house back from them. The act also explores the theme of gender roles and the challenges faced by women, particularly with the character of Ruth, Walter Lee’s wife, who is pregnant and struggling with the decision to have an abortion.
Act 2 also features the arrival of a representative from the Clybourne Park Improvement Association, who offers the Younger family money in exchange for them not moving into the neighborhood. This scene highlights the pervasive nature of discrimination and the systemic barriers faced by African Americans in their pursuit of the American dream.
Raisin in the Sun PDF Act 3
Act 3 of “A Raisin in the Sun” brings the central conflict to a climax, as the family faces the consequences of their decisions. The character of Walter Lee, who had lost hope in the American dream, finds a renewed sense of purpose and pride in his African American heritage. Lena also shows her strength and resilience as she stands up to the forces of discrimination and oppression.
The final act also explores the theme of family unity, as the Younger family comes together to face their challenges as a unit. The play ends on a note of hope, with the family looking towards a brighter future despite the obstacles they face.
“A Raisin in the Sun” is a timeless play that continues to resonate with audiences today. The play’s exploration of themes of race, family, and the American dream is both powerful and poignant. The three acts of the play build on each other to create a complex and layered narrative that challenges the audience’s preconceptions and beliefs. Whether read in PDF form or seen on stage, “A Raisin in the Sun” is a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of the African American experience in America.