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A Raisin in the Sun

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As the subject of a research paper, Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin in the Sun has a lot of potential. Themes in the play include aspiration, conflict and identity, all of which can be explored in an interesting way. If you're thinking about writing a paper on it here are a few things to consider.

The play takes its name from a line in the poem A Dream Deferred by Langstone Hughes, which is about the barriers to progress suffered by black Americans in the 1940s and 50s. All the members of the Younger family have aspirations and all face obstacles. Walter wants to be wealthy but lacks education; Mama wants to move into a house in a better area but faces racism; Beneatha wants to study medicine but can't afford to as a result of Walter's gullibility. The play also raises questions about whether assimilation helps blacks or holds them back; Walter is influenced by Beneatha's educated and wealthy boyfriend George, but Beneatha increasingly listens to the Nigerian student Joseph Asagai.

The play explores conflict on multiple levels. At the beginning the Youngers are arguing over what to do with a $10,000 life insurance payment for Mama's late husband. Each has their own plan; Mama, backed by Walter's wife Ruth, thinks the family will have more opportunities if they move from their small apartment into a house. Walter wants to invest in a liquor store with his friend Willie, an

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