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A Raisin in the Sun
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A Raisin in the Sun

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  46,189 Ratings  ·  1,795 Reviews
When it was first produced in 1959, A Raisin in the Sun was awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for that season and hailed as a watershed in American drama. A pioneering work by an African-American playwright, the play was a radically new representation of black life. "A play that changed American theater forever."--The New York Times.
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published November 29th 2004 by Turtleback Books (first published 1959)
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First published in 1959, this play tells the story of a poor African-American family ruled by "mama" who has big plans to make a better life for her family, but must wait for "the check" and overcome a few obstacles along the way. (like her bitter and self-absorbed son Walter)

Set in a small rundown roach-infested apartment on Chicago's south side, A RAISIN IN THE SUN brings to light issues of racism and segregation, but also family pride and forgiveness.

Another surprisingly good play!

Feb 09, 2008 Joel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

I decided to assign this to my Honors American Lit class before I had even read it myself. I'm so glad I did! I really enjoyed the characters. And while students get a kick out of lines like "Why you always wear them faggoty white shoes?" it also deals with som
Huda Aweys
عن الظروف الاجتماعية للسود .. مشاكلهم و حياتهم في امريكا ..، مسرحية رائعة ادخلتنى الى عالمهم ..
و جعلتني اعايش آلامهم .. آمالهم .. طموحاتهم ..، كاتبة مرهفه و موهوبة فعلا انها تقدر توّصل كل دا ، و مترجمة موهوبة كمان و امينة على ما اتذكر :) ، لأنى قرأت الكتاب دا زمان من فترة طويلة الحقيقة
Hansberry's death from cancer at 34 just six years after the publication and first production of Raisin in the Sun was a real loss to both the literary and dramatic worlds. Not everyone likes to read plays; I enjoy them. This one is exceptional. The characters are well-defined, real, memorable; the interaction among them vibrant, interesting, at times gut-wrenching, never dull. Raisin is a snapshot of black urban life on the eve of the sixties, just before the civil rights movement. And yet, we ...more
Anabel (inthebookcorner)
loved it. I really want to go see this play at the Harlem theatre.
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
Weathervane Playhouse is putting on a production of this incredible show just down the street from my house, opening this weekend, and I'm running the sound board for a few shows. I went to my first (and perhaps only -- eek!) rehearsal last night and homg. I was excited because hello, this is a classic, but I was NOT expecting to be so enveloped in the story while half my brain was concentrating on learning sound cues. It's really a testament to Ms Hansberry's incredible dialogue, because 95% of ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
There are more than a few established classics that I had never heard of until I did my teaching degree here in Canada. Since everyone else had come through the Canadian school system, they were very knowing about "The Lottery", Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird and A Raisin in the Sun. These established American classics got blank looks from me. Well, not so much Mockingbird; I'd heard of that one a couple of years before, and the name was familiar to me from before moving here.

But I'd
Conner Zimmermann
Oct 31, 2012 Conner Zimmermann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly think this was a very bad choice by Ms. E. I cannot think of a single person in our bell that was actually interested in this. This book might have even made me a little more stupid. This is by far the worst book I have read this year. The characters were imbeciles, just because they get some money doesn't mean that they go and spend it all on a house right away. This book was horrific, making me want to tear my eyes out of my head so that I would not have to continue to read this was ...more
Jul 20, 2007 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun is very deservedly considered a timeless classic. Unlike many other works from around the same era, Hansberry provokes and moves her audience without writing of complete devastation. To explain how her style and choices are different than her contemporaries, is to give away the ending. The denouement of A Raisin in the Sun is like no other of its genre. This is what makes it a classic. It is timeless because of Hansberry's presentation of the familial in ...more
Feb 02, 2016 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bettie
From BBC Radio 3 - Drama on 3:
This ground-breaking play, set on Chicago's South Side in the 1950's, revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of an Afro-American working-class family. A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway. In this new production for radio, rarely produced scenes from the original play, which were cut from the original film and stage and subsequent contemporary stage productions, have been rein
A Raisin in the Sun details the story of a working-class family struggling to make ends meet. The Youngers are then faced with a difficult decision that brings their colored heritage and the lives of their ancestors to the forefront.

Although this book and Death of a Salesman have some similar themes, what makes A Raisin in the Sun much better is its dynamic dialogue and the conflicting desires of its characters. While not perfectly three-dimensional, each family member in the story had an idea o
Laura Harrison
Mar 11, 2016 Laura Harrison rated it it was amazing
An absolute favorite. Captivating with so much heart. Hansberry was a genius.
Jul 02, 2007 sydney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who live in cities, teachers, everyone
This is a great play. Part of the reason I loved it is because I saw some former students act out scenes from it last month, and they were amazing. But! One of the reasons they were able to be so amazing is because this is a great play. It touches on common themes-- the American dream, generation gaps, family, race relations, identity. Hansberry gets dialogue just right. Her characters are strong and relatable. It's funny and moving at the same time and still makes sense fifty years after it was ...more
Cassie  R. (cassie-loves-reading)

The version I read was a script taken from the screenplay so if you read it I recommend watching the movie (1961) while you do so. The actors do a wonderful job and even the the story is great alone seeing it played out makes it so much better.
Aug 13, 2012 Rowena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rowena by: Zada
This was a quick read and I loved every page! I'm interested in watching the original version of the play with Sidney Poitier, looks good!
Great play. Great film. Everyone should read can't say you truly love literature if you haven't read this one.
Sivan N.
Apr 01, 2016 Sivan N. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?"
-Harlem, Langston Hughes

"(She shakes her head at the dissolved dream.)... But Lord, child, you should know all the dreams I had 'bout buying that house and fixing it up and making me a little garden in the back--(She waits and stops smiling.) And didn't none of it happen." -A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry

"...Seem like God didn't see fit to give the black man nothing but dreams-- but He did give us children to m
John Yelverton
Mar 05, 2012 John Yelverton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting story that was actually, surprisingly enjoyable.
May 29, 2014 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play
I read this a few years ago and just finished it again. I have seen the movie with Sidney Poitier and was interested in reading the play. I was impressed to read that Lorraine Hansberry, the author was only 29 years old when she wrote this thought provoking, well written play. I read at the beginning of my copy, a new one i just got, that each book depending on which one you get can be a bit different with scenes or a few lines that may or may not get.
A Raisin in the Sun is about an African Ame
Feb 11, 2012 Ivana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Raisin in the sun” is a memorable, beautiful and powerful play. Despite the fact that it has some flaws, I think it is a successful play.

I liked the theme and the emotion behind this play. I think Hansberry was successful in creating the atmosphere and the setting, although she does not use much description. Yes, plays don't really have descriptions in a sense that a novel does, but what I mean to say is that she "shows" rather than "tells", i.e she is a decent dramatist. For instance you get
For a play vs. movie review please visit my blog ...On The Shelf

I have often heard people gush over Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin In The Sun and told myself there was no rush to read it on my own because I would eventually have to read it for some class. Sadly, this book never actually made it onto the required reading list for any of my classes so it was left up to me to read it at my leisure. This summer, I finally had a chance to pick the play up from my mother's collection while I wait
Cassandra Lê
Jun 24, 2015 Cassandra Lê rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am ashamed to concede that I thought lowly of this book before I even read it. I thought it was about some random boring family stories of African American people, but I was so wrong. I was very wrong that I want to slap myself in the face.

Characters: They are awesome. We can easily distinguish their own incentives and personalities. They have their own beliefs, they react, and they conflict. It was bloody exciting to read the interaction between each member - how Lena slapped Beneathea becau
I guess you can call me Maria (Marmalade4evs)
Read for school, not that good. I'm dissecting this book in English class so I'm probably gonna be forced to spend a long time with It. I mean it wasn't that bad. It was actually pretty good. But I didn't feel amazed. With no really good climax and plot, this book gets 4.5/10 stars
I initially picked this play up because "one of a handful of great American plays-it belongs in the inner circle, along with Death of a Salesman, Long Day's Journey Into Night and The Glass Menagerie." -Washington Post.

I've read Death of a Salesman and The Glass Menagerie which I loved so it made sense to read this play. I had no idea what it was about but if someone is telling me this is for fans of this, then I'll pick it up even if I've never read the genre before.

So I'm a huge fan of plays
Taylor Herrmann
Nov 02, 2015 Taylor Herrmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this one and it's been my favorite that we've read in my English class so far. I really love the whole idea of it and it kept me interested! Would recommend!
Jan 13, 2015 Darkowaa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic. Also read it again freshman year in 2008 for class.
Had to read this for school and really enjoyed it.
Jun 22, 2009 Silvana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story was brilliant! It was a story about love, sacrifice and family values. My favorite character was Mama Lena. She was the one that really maintain the family values and the respect within the family, which her own kids knew little about. I like the way she interacts with little Travis.

Mama always wanted a house for her entire family, but her dream never came true until her husband dies and because of his insuranse Mama Lena was able to buy the house, her children grew up and so did thei
Jaimee Downes
Oct 30, 2013 Jaimee Downes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry is one of my favorite books and this was my second time reading it. I have also seen the movie which really brought it all to life. Before I read it for the first time I was scared that I wasn't going to understand it because I usually have a hard time reading books that are in the form of plays. I was wrong; this book is easy to understand on the surface and enjoying to dig deeper to find the deeper meaning. It is also a quick read that kept me laughing ...more
Marcus Streeter
Jun 12, 2013 Marcus Streeter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The theme of this book is universal, and applies to every minority in the world. The author's purpose could be more difficult to find. Hansberry gives us views of overcoming racism and discrimination. She also gives us views on getting over tragedies. Walter Lee Younger is the epic center of all of the pain going on in the family. Hansberry has a lot of reasons for writing this book. Lorraine Hansberry wrote it because she wants minority to know throw any tragedy, you can be prosperous.

The purp
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Lorraine Vivian Hansberry was an American playwright and writer. Hansberry inspired Nina Simone's song "To Be Young, Gifted and Black".

She was the first black woman to write a play performed on Broadway. Her best known work, the play "A Raisin in the Sun," highlights the lives of Black Americans living under racial segregation in Chicago. Hansberry's family had struggled against segregation, chall
More about Lorraine Hansberry...

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“Beneatha: Love him? There is nothing left to love.

Mama: There is always something left to love. And if you ain't learned that, you ain't learned nothing. (Looking at her) Have you cried for that boy today? I don't mean for yourself and for the family 'cause we lost the money. I mean for him: what he been through and what it done to him. Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain't through learning - because that ain't the time at all. It's when he's at his lowest and can't believe in hisself 'cause the world done whipped him so! when you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.”
“Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain't through learning-because that ain't the time at all...when you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.” 32 likes
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