A Reader's Guide to Lorraine Hansberry's a Raisin in the Sun

Overview

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun was a landmark play. In addition to being the first play by an African-American woman to appear on Broadway, it was also directed by an African-American man, Lloyd Richards. All but one of the actors in the production were African American, and some of the investors also were African American. The play won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, so that Hansberry became the first African American to win the award as well as the youngest American to do so. It became the ...
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Overview

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun was a landmark play. In addition to being the first play by an African-American woman to appear on Broadway, it was also directed by an African-American man, Lloyd Richards. All but one of the actors in the production were African American, and some of the investors also were African American. The play won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, so that Hansberry became the first African American to win the award as well as the youngest American to do so. It became the first African-American play to gain national attention and was performed on Broadway for so long that it broke the previous record for the longest run of a Broadway play by an African American.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Janet Scherer
Books in this series are devoted to exploring different multicultural novels. The volumes are consistent in their coverage, which includes an author biography, plot summary, discussion of narrative style, themes, literary or dramatic devices, and a character analysis. In addition, each volume adds extra information, such as the historical importance of the novel A Raisin in the Sun. The context of The Joy Luck Club is discussed in relation to the greater Asian American genre of literature. Other well-done features in the series include chronologies, chapter notes, and further reading. The books are an excellent resource for the student wanting to do more in depth research. There is not an over abundance of photos; however, the ones chosen are of good quality. Those readers interested in improving their vocabulary will like the sidebars throughout the volumes highlighting different words and their meanings. The volumes are well organized, clearly written, and simple to understand, with a larger typeface that is easy on the eyes. For older students, the series would most likely serve as a starting point in their research; however, for younger students the series is a first-rate introduction to literary analysis and would be a worthy purchase for middle school libraries. A third volume in the series looks at Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. Reviewer: Janet Scherer
Children's Literature - Leila Toledo
It has long been a tradition in Nigerian culture to pass on stories from generation to generation by orally telling the story. In 1953, when a white English professor assigned a fictional Nigerian story in English, written by an Anglo-Irish writer, it infuriated Chinua and his classmates. The story was demeaning, inaccurate and superficial. In 1958 Chinua Achebe published "Things Fall Apart" in English. It was an accurate rendition of Nigeria and its culture. It gives a balanced picture of a culture and civilization that existed thousands of years before colonization. Prior to the 1950s, virtually nothing was written by African writers about Africa in English. Following independence from the English in 1960, African writers of fiction in English began to emerge. George Shea gives us information about Chinua Achebe's life and the Igbo culture he was raised in. It focuses on the basic events of an agrarian community. The narrative style is much like the oral tradition with simple sentences that you would hear if you were sitting around a fire listening to a story. Chinua also uses symbolism, along with chants, folk songs and religious terms to describe his fictional village. Chinua's book is considered a classic. The author of this reader's guide has certainly planted the seed to stimulate you to read Things Fall Apart. This is part of the "Multicultural Literature" series. Reviewer: Leila Toledo
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up- A Raisin in the Sun has become part of the literary canon and is required reading for many students. This guide is intended to help them better appreciate the social milieu out of which this play emerged. Accordingly, it focuses on major characters in one chapter each, in which their strengths, weaknesses, and roles in the drama are discussed. Other chapters discuss its plot, themes, and importance; Hansberry's life; and other works by her. In many ways, the play's time and plot are vestiges of a distant American past that most students today cannot easily relate to, making this volume a fine resource.-Carol Jones Collins, Columbia High School, Maplewood, NJ

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780766028302
  • Publisher: Enslow Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/2008
  • Series: Multicultural Literature Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 1220L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.03 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Table of Contents


Art with Purpose     5
Plot and Other Elements     15
Themes     27
Dramatic Devices     39
Lena     51
Walter     61
Beneatha     71
Ruth     83
Other Works     95
The Importance of the Work     107
Chronology     118
Chapter Notes     120
Glossary     123
Major Works of Lorraine Hansberry     125
Further Reading and Internet Addresses     126
Index     127
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