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Home : Studyworld Studynotes : A Raisin in the Sun
A Raisin in the Sun

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STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES :

A Raisin in the Sun

A Raisin in the Sun
by: Lorraine Hansberry


Major Characters:

Beneatha: Beneatha is the daughter in college, who keeps changing her mind about what she likes and what she wants to do with her life.

Walter: Beneatha's brother who is very greedy, and tends to make bad decisions, and bad investments.

Asagai: The man Beneatha eventually decides that she loves.

George Murchison: The rich man who liked Beneatha. Bennie's family wanted her to go out with him because he was rich, but she wouldn't do it.

Ruth: Wants nothing more than to get out of the apartment that they are stuck in.

Mama: Kind of old fashioned. Mistakenly trusts Walter Lee.

Summary of Events:

The book starts when the family is waiting for a check. Ruth and Walter argue. Beneatha and Mama enter. They talk about he money, Beneatha's school and idea. Mama slaps Bennie and Ruth collapses. The next day, they are cleaning. Asagai visits and gives Bennie robes. Check arrives. Ruth comes home, and says she is pregnant. She intends to abort it, and mama leaves. Later Bennie puts on robes and dances with Walter. George comes to take her out. Mama comes home and has bought a house. Walter is upset. Mama gives Walter financial control. Walter loses it all on his liquor store. Asagai asks Bennie to go to
Africa with him. A man comes to dissuade him from moving. They move anyway.

Personal Reaction: (One student writes...)

Raisin I felt very indifferent towards. It was a good book that moved quickly, but it didn't leave any lasting impression.

The only part of the book that made me really take notice were two of the characters:   Walter Lee and Beneatha. Beneatha was a character I could identify with. She shared my opinions on a lot of topics and had some fairly amusing lines. Walter Lee was not nearly so wonderful. I got the feeling he was supposed to evoke pity and understanding, but I didn't care about his character, one way or another. I wanted to smack him upside the head a couple of times, but I don’t really think that constitutes as caring. All Walter Lee cared about was himself and all he wanted was for his own needs to be catered to. I would have liked the book more if Walter Lee hadn’t been a part of it. The problem with that is that without the character of Walter Lee, there’s no catalyst for the story and moral outcome, so I end up with a paradox that ends in indifference.

That was my original personal reaction. And, that still is my reaction. I had no great love for the play A Raisin In The Sun. I'm terribly sorry that everybody seems to think that I have missed the point of this play. What I don't understand is how people can't separate liking a book from realizing the point of the book, and knowing that it's good literature. I can understand that a book is good literature without liking the book, or feeling any attachment to it. And, I'm sorry for any confusion that arose when I mistakenly put the Walter was Beneatha's father.

Symbolism:

Sunlight: A better life
Roaches: The old life
the Plant: hope

Quotes:

Ruth: ...what kind of eggs you want?
Walter: Not scrambled. (Ruth starts to scramble eggs) (p3)

Beneatha: I know he's rich. He knows he's rich, too. (p24)

Beneatha: I'm not worried about who I'm going to marry yet - if I ever get married. (p50)



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