Themes in a Raisin in The Sun

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 557 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jan 29, 2024

Words: 557|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jan 29, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Dreams
  2. Mama's Dream
    Walter's Dream
    Beneatha's Dream
  3. Racial Discrimination
  4. Housing Discrimination
    Segregation and Inequality
  5. Family Dynamics
  6. Conflicts Between Generations
    Gender Roles and Expectations
  7. Conclusion
  8. References

Throughout Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun, the themes of dreams, racial discrimination, and family dynamics are prominently featured. This essay will examine how these themes are portrayed in the play and their lasting relevance in contemporary society.

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Mama, Walter, and Beneatha each have their own dreams and aspirations, which play a significant role in the development of the plot and the characters.

Mama's Dream

Mama desires a better life for her family and sees the insurance money from her late husband's death as an opportunity to fulfill this dream. The significance of the insurance money is evident when she plans to use it to buy a house and create a better future for her children.

Walter's Dream

Walter aspires to be a successful businessman and believes that investing in a liquor store will make his dream a reality. However, the potential consequences of his dream becoming obsessive are depicted when his obsession with money and success leads him to make questionable decisions.

Beneatha's Dream

Beneatha's pursuit of education and self-actualization represents her dream to become a doctor and embrace her African heritage. The clash between her African roots and assimilation into American culture is evident in her interactions with George Murchison, who represents the more assimilated African American.

Racial Discrimination

The Younger family faces various forms of racial discrimination that impact their daily lives and opportunities.

Housing Discrimination

The obstacles faced by the Younger family in finding a suitable home in a predominantly white neighborhood highlight the housing discrimination prevalent at the time. The impact of discrimination on the characters' self-esteem and opportunities is evident when they are treated differently by their white neighbors.

Segregation and Inequality

The limited social and economic opportunities for African Americans are portrayed through the characters' experiences. Beneatha's African identity and her interactions with George Murchison highlight the challenges of navigating identity and societal expectations as an African American woman.

Family Dynamics

The conflicts between generations and gender roles within the Younger family contribute to the complexity of the family dynamics.

Conflicts Between Generations

Differences in values and aspirations between Mama, Walter, and Beneatha create tension within the family. The generation gap becomes evident as the older and younger members of the family have differing perspectives on life choices and priorities.

Gender Roles and Expectations

Beneatha's desire for independence and pursuit of her own dreams challenge traditional gender roles, while Walter's struggle with providing for his family and fulfilling societal expectations as a man depicts the complexities of masculinity and societal pressures.


In conclusion, A Raisin in the Sun effectively explores the themes of dreams, racial discrimination, and family dynamics, shedding light on the challenges faced by African American families in post-World War II America. The lasting relevance of these themes in contemporary society is evident in the ongoing struggles for equality and self-determination.

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This play serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring impact of racial discrimination on individuals and families, as well as the importance of challenging societal norms and pursuing one's dreams. A Raisin in the Sun continues to inspire audiences to confront issues of race, identity, and generational differences, making it a timeless piece of literature that resonates with audiences across generations.


  1. Wilkerson, Isabel. "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration." Vintage Books, 2010.
  2. Ward, Candace. "Wish You Were Here: A Raisin in the Sun and the American Dreams." University of California Press, 2016.
  3. Hansberry, Lorraine. "A Raisin in the Sun." Vintage Books, 2004.
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Themes in a Raisin in the Sun. (2024, January 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 14, 2024, from
“Themes in a Raisin in the Sun.” GradesFixer, 29 Jan. 2024,
Themes in a Raisin in the Sun. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 14 Apr. 2024].
Themes in a Raisin in the Sun [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 29 [cited 2024 Apr 14]. Available from:
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