Raisin in the Sun

You will write an essay on one of the topics below. Paper length is 5-6 pages- Times New Roman, typed double-spaced. This excludes the works cited page.

Do some outside research on one of the topics below and incorporate four sources of information on your topic. These should be cited properly in text and works cited. Scholarly, academic articles and journals from databases, books and newspaper articles are suggested sources.

Gender roles and Feminism:

The play has a very strong view on Feminism in the 1960’s. The three characters, which are women; Mama, Ruth and Beneatha show an influence over the men of the family. They are the main supporters of the family, because Walter is too lazy to do anything or care about his family, since all that is important to him is money. Research how gender roles played a significant role in the country during the 1950’s and what were certain expectations of women versus men.

Racism and Prejudice:


Racism is what is keeping the world from uniting. The discrimination of others base on their beliefs or culture is what Lorraine Hansberry the author of the play A raisin in the Sun experienced. She was born in Chicago in 1930 and died in 1965. Her family was one of the first African American families to move into an all white neighborhood, which led to her discrimination experiences. Research and discuss how racism played a significant role in the history of the US during the 1950’s.

Family and the American Dream:

Dreams are vital to the life of every person. Without dreams, there is nothing to plan or look forward to. The Younger family in A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry has many dreams for their future that a $10,000 insurance check guarantees them. Write an essay on the American Dream incorporating research that shows what the American Dream meant to different immigrants during the 1950’s.

Setting and Historical Context:

The entire action of the play takes place in the Southside of Chicago sometime between WWII and present (1958): namely the 1950’s. During this era, Chicago was strictly divided by race and segregation. This of course caused great tension in both blacks and women and ultimately led to the great civil rights and feminist movements in the 1960’s. A Raisin in the Sun predates both of these movements, but provides great insight into life during this time period and how it erupted into the 60’s. Research on the history of Chicago in the 1950’s and what were the important movements that emerged at the time period and their leaders.

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