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A Raisin in the Sun and The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  712 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
By the time of her death thirty years ago, at the tragically young age of thirty-four, Lorraine Hansberry had created two electrifying masterpieces of the American theater. With A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry gave this country its most movingly authentic portrayal of black family life in the inner city. Barely five years later, with The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, Ha ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 13th 1995 by Vintage (first published 1966)
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Feb 05, 2009 April rated it it was amazing
Shelves: educ-7701
I had no idea what “A Raisin in the Sun” could possibly be about before reading the play. I simply chose it over “Twelve Angry Men” since I had read that play so many times before. I didn’t want to read it yet again. Due to the cover of the book having an African American woman in 60s clothing on the cover, I assumed that was what it was about.

My immediate response to the plot and characters is to wonder what sort of things I am missing. I am curious as to what sort of things happened to Bennie
Tyeisha Little
An African-American family living on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950's. This money comes from the deceased Mr. Younger’s life insurance policy. Each of the adult members of the family has an idea as to what he or she would like to do with this money. The matriarch of the family, Mama, wants to buy a house to fulfill a dream she shared with her husband. Mama’s son, Walter Lee, would rather use the money to invest in a liquor store with his friends. He believes that the investment will solve ...more
John Berney
Oct 18, 2015 John Berney rated it really liked it
Hansberry definitely had its great points, and is a true novel of its time period. Although I did not like some points made, the book was pretty good.
Christopher Jacobs
Nov 01, 2015 Christopher Jacobs rated it it was amazing
It was a good book i especially liked the ending of it
Stone Michaels
Jan 29, 2016 Stone Michaels rated it it was amazing
This book is definitely an American Classic. It tells of a struggling African American family during a very diffcult time of the African-American race, civil rights for women, and most importantly dreams for all. Hansberry does an outstanding job capturing the lives of a typical black family in the late 50s- early 60s. Everything from dealing with financial security to the possiblity of trying to become more, is some of the same issues we are dealing with now as everyday people. A very great rea ...more
Nicole Boone
Jan 07, 2014 Nicole Boone rated it it was amazing
I came to this play for a school assignment and I didn't really know what to expect. I picked it by random and hoped for a good read. But I got sooo much more out of this book than I would have expected. It was like preparing yourself to get some skittles and ending up with a cheesecake. The profound impact of this play was one that made me consider my own life which in some form or another, all plays should. " An end to misery! To stupidity! don't you see there isn't any real progress,Asagai, t ...more
Kalen Dotson
Feb 25, 2013 Kalen Dotson rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book.
Mar 14, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: engl-7701

This is the first time I have picked up this book and read it since high school. A peer of mine teaches this in his American Literature class, but I have chosen to teach The Crucible the past few years. Before I began reading it again, I tried to recall any memories I had of it from my previous reading. I recalled it was about an African American family during an era when racial prejudice was an accepted part of daily life. However, any details other than that which I could pull from the back co

Apr 03, 2009 Pamela rated it it was amazing
The book I just finished reading is called A Raisin In The Sun,
by Lorraine Hansberry. This a fiction book,and the theme of it is to not be selfish.
The book is a play about a man named Walter,who's mom Lena is getting a check in the mail that is worth ten thousand dollars.The money is comming from Lena's husband who passed away.Walter has a wife named Ruth(who he later finds out shes pregant),his son Travis and sister Beneatha.Walter wants some of the money to invest in a liqour store with Will
Apr 21, 2012 Ascending rated it liked it
A Raisin in the Sun takes its audience on a journey through the perspective of Walter Lee, a black man struggling to achieve the American dream. Walter struggles to identify his own identity in a world where white men have all the power and means, and people of color are subjugated to inferior positions in society. In the end, Walter finds his spirit hidden in the shadows of his own insecurities only to rise above his situation like the descendent of those great Afrikan Kings of old, when they w ...more
Jack Corrigan
Oct 05, 2013 Jack Corrigan rated it really liked it
In the book "A Raisin in the Sun" by Lorraine Hansbury, we go back in time to the 1950s. We learn about a family; this family's last name is Younger. The Younger family are all getting paychecks for $10,000 very soon and every member has an idea of what to do with the The first member of the family is Mama,she was also Mr. Younger's wife; she plans to buy a new house and make all the dreams that she had with her husband come true. The second member of the family is Walter Lee, he is Mamas son an ...more
Mar 12, 2015 Drew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama
I doubt any fellow good-readers will be astonished to see that "A Raisin in the Sun" got yet another 5-star rating but I actually thought the companion piece "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window" was pretty great too. It's got a similar fury fueling the action and over a half-dozen richly drawn characters with bones to pick. Hansberry's like a less verbose, more compassionate Shaw: She throws a bunch of POVs onstage then let's them duke it out...with gusto.
Wendell Hennan
Mar 24, 2016 Wendell Hennan rated it liked it
A 1958 59 play about a black family in Chicago dealing with balancing their dreams and their pride in a city that still had racial issues. The Younger family, (Mamma) receives a $10,000 insurance settlement and buys a home in an all white suburb and gives the rest of the money to her son with instructions to set aside money for his sisters university. He invest with a rip off artist and the money is gone and the new neighborhood wish to buy them out to discourage their moving. Sydney Poitier pla ...more
Nov 05, 2015 Julia rated it really liked it
This book is great! The dialogue is outstanding and it has a great moral theme at the end. I really enjoyed this book and would probably read it again! I never got bored with it, and I always wanted to know what happens next. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested of the obstacles the families went through in the 1960's
Kelsi Forrest
Nov 05, 2015 Kelsi Forrest rated it really liked it
The book A Raisin in the Sun was a very interesting book. I liked how everyone had a dream and had a lot of optimism. The book had a lot of determination and hope towards their dreams. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to follow their dreams and achieve them.
Jun 14, 2009 Kim rated it liked it
I've always wanted to read this book but I had never really gotten around to it so I finally gave it a try. I also wanted to read this book because I had recently read other plays that I really enjoyed. The writing element that I liked most about this book is the diction and the way the character's spoke because the readers get a good insight on that time period. There were many different events that shock the reader which made me want to continuously read and the author presents an African-Amer ...more
Jul 22, 2012 May rated it it was amazing
The edition I have is different from this one, but no matter. I got my copy from a secondhand bookstore in downtown Palo Alto and the guy let me have the book for free because I didn't have three dollars on me, so I owe the guy a visit sometime this summer.

Wow. This book was amazing. The writing style is so powerful and it's hard to believe that Hansberry was only 29 when she wrote this. I think this play speaks to readers of all races because all of us have had dreams and with these dreams hav
jackie sze
Jun 01, 2008 jackie sze rated it liked it
The Younger family got 10,000 dollar due to the death of Mr Younger. The family members all have different ideas on how to spend the money but they couldn't agree on one idea. The head of the family, Mama, wants to buy a house. Mama’s son, Walter Lee, would rather use the money to invest in a liquor store with his friends. He believes that the investment will solve the family’s financial problems forever. Walter’s wife, Ruth, agrees with Mama and hopes that she and Walter can provide more space ...more
Lauren Owens
Dec 01, 2015 Lauren Owens rated it it was ok
I have only read A Raisin in the Sun, not The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window. I didn't like A Raisin in the Sun. It didn't have much plot. It wasn't interesting. It was short, which was nice. I probably wouldn't recommend this book.
McKaylen Garrison
I read this last year with my English teacher, I liked it a lot. It really helps to describe the way blacks were treated and how terrible the living conditions were, and how hard it was to have a well paying job at that time.
Eric Vincent
Jun 08, 2008 Eric Vincent rated it it was amazing
Shelves: advisroy-07-08
This play was amazing! I had read it before in sevnth grade and then was recommended by a friend to read it again. My friend told me that if you read it twice, you see things that you hadnt the first time. In reading it again i realized many things. I realized the symbolisim in the book of the grandmother's plant and how she waters it every day. I also realized the relevance to the time period that the play took place in. I recommend this book to the whole advisory. I was lucky to see it on bora ...more
Jun 18, 2007 Kim rated it it was amazing
I read this book in highschool and loved it. I never had much exposure to black people in school. (This was pre-bussing, and I lived in an mostly all white neighborhood and we were all spoiled brats.) Books like this brought the American black experience into white classrooms and opened our eyes to the black struggles we saw on the news. I thank teachers like Ms. Haines and Ms. McCracken who made us read stuff like this because it brought it home to us and helped me understand a little better on ...more
Nov 05, 2015 Marisa rated it it was ok
Ummmmmmm it's ok. Not my Type of book. But sends good message. It's a good read as a class
Sep 24, 2015 Grant rated it it was amazing
Sign In Sidney Brustein's Window is devastating and devastatingly good.
Mar 14, 2008 Patty rated it really liked it
Another great book! Finally some books I can give a 4 too! This was a really great text, particularly because of all of the issues it addresses, from gender to race to poverty. It covers a lot of ground, yet is written in an easy-to-understand format. A GREAT pick for high school students - I can see why so many teachers use it. I especially enjoyed the tension between those who were trying to reach their dreams, and others who were afraid to leave what was comfortable. I read the play version o ...more
Jun 03, 2008 Heather rated it it was amazing
This was an awesome book. It shows how people are when it comes to different races. I love how the characters are just so real and up front with how they feel. They show how they are proud of their race and dont let others try to bring them down. This book just shows compassionate and caring to others. There is one thing I hated, how the older guy in the family spent the rest of the money on trying to start a liquor store. It was the most dumbest thing someone can do is give alot of money to som ...more
Jun 16, 2008 Amanda rated it liked it
This book was basically a play about a black family who lives in a tenament building, and their struggles to provide the best for their family and themselves. The grandma gets a check for ten thousand dollars after the grandpa died. And we read as we see each indivdual character make their own decisions as to how to use the money. Although it has a lot of great insights, and the play title itself is insightful, I thought at some parts it was boring, so I gave it a three. I would still recommend ...more
Jasmine Wilson
Sep 17, 2015 Jasmine Wilson rated it liked it
Great book! :)
May 16, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it
We read this book in English and I guess it really should be 2.5 stars. The plot itself wasn't all that interesting,but the writing, which was done in dialect, and the themes of the book were very well done. The most important characteristic of this kind of drama/book is to open people's eyes to the past and the mistakes made so that we can make the world a better place. Lorraine Hansberry definitely accomplished this in A Raisin in the Sun.
Mar 28, 2008 Jasmine added it
Shelves: plays
It has been awhile since I read a book in one sitting. Two of my students didn't show up for their appointments today and the language arts enrichment teacher had a copy of this play on her desk. It was wonderful...the characters were gripping and the general themes and concerns were incredibly poignent. If you haven't read this classic I highly recommend it!
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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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