Foreshadowing in a Raisin in The Sun

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 683 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 683|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. The Dreams and Aspirations of the Younger Family
  2. The Symbolism of the Plant
  3. The Role of Racism and Social Change
  4. Conclusion

From the very beginning of Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun, the concept of foreshadowing is skillfully employed to engage the reader and provide hints about what is to come. Foreshadowing, a literary technique that hints at future events or outcomes, is effectively used in this play to create suspense, deepen characterization, and explore themes of dreams, identity, and social change. This essay will analyze the various instances of foreshadowing in A Raisin in the Sun, examining how they contribute to the overall impact and meaning of the play.

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The Dreams and Aspirations of the Younger Family

One of the central themes in A Raisin in the Sun is the pursuit of dreams and aspirations. The Younger family, consisting of Lena, Walter, Beneatha, and Ruth, all have their own desires and ambitions. Throughout the play, foreshadowing is used to hint at the future outcomes of these dreams and aspirations, often causing tension and conflict within the family.

Early in the play, Walter's dream of starting his own business is subtly foreshadowed. When he receives a phone call about an investment opportunity, the audience can sense that this may not turn out as he hopes. As the play progresses, the tension around Walter's dream builds, and the audience can feel the impending disappointment. This foreshadowing adds depth to Walter's character and highlights the struggles faced by African Americans in pursuing their dreams during this time period.

Beneatha's dream of becoming a doctor is also foreshadowed through her interactions with different suitors. Each suitor represents a different aspect of her identity and future, foreshadowing the choices she will have to make. The audience can sense the conflict between her dream and societal expectations, which adds complexity to her character and the overall narrative.

The Symbolism of the Plant

Another significant instance of foreshadowing in A Raisin in the Sun is the symbolism of the plant. Throughout the play, Lena Younger cares for a small, struggling plant, which becomes a symbol of her family's dreams and aspirations. The condition of the plant mirrors the state of the Younger family, and as the plant withers, so does their hope.

In the final act of the play, this symbolism is fully realized when Lena decides to take the remaining insurance money and use it to buy a house for the family. This decision represents her determination to keep their dreams alive, even in the face of adversity. The foreshadowing of the plant's condition throughout the play prepares the audience for this pivotal moment, adding emotional resonance and underscoring the importance of dreams and the sacrifices made to achieve them.

The Role of Racism and Social Change

Aside from individual dreams and aspirations, foreshadowing in A Raisin in the Sun also serves to explore larger themes of racism and social change. From the beginning of the play, the audience senses the racial tension and discrimination the Younger family faces. This foreshadowing sets the stage for the conflicts and challenges they will encounter as they navigate a society that is hostile to their dreams.

The foreshadowing is particularly evident in the character of Karl Lindner, a representative of the all-white neighborhood where the Younger family plans to move. His initial visit to the Younger household is laced with condescension and veiled threats, foreshadowing the racism the family will face if they choose to move. This foreshadowing adds a sense of unease and highlights the systemic racism that permeates society.


In conclusion, foreshadowing is a powerful tool used by Lorraine Hansberry in A Raisin in the Sun to create tension, deepen characterization, and explore themes of dreams, identity, and social change. Through the dreams and aspirations of the Younger family, the symbolism of the plant, and the role of racism and social change, Hansberry skillfully employs foreshadowing to engage the reader and provide insight into the struggles faced by African Americans during this time period. By using foreshadowing, Hansberry creates a play that is both thought-provoking and emotionally resonant, encouraging the audience to reflect on the broader implications of the story and the importance of pursuing dreams despite the odds.

Works Cited:

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Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. Vintage Books, 2004.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Foreshadowing in A Raisin in the Sun. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Foreshadowing in A Raisin in the Sun.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
Foreshadowing in A Raisin in the Sun. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Foreshadowing in A Raisin in the Sun [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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