Rating: 3/5 stars.
A Raisin in the Sun details the story of a working-class family struggling to make ends meet. The Youngers are then faced with a difficult decision that brings their colored heritage and the lives of their ancestors to the forefront.
Although this book and Death of a Salesman have some similar themes, what makes A Raisin in the Sun much better is its dynamic dialogue and the conflicting desires of its characters. While not perfectly three-dimensional, each family member in the story had an idea or belief that drove them forward. Not all of the characters were likable, especially Walter, but they worked well together in terms of their times of communion and crisis. I empathized a lot with Beneatha – the obstacles she overcame in such a racist, cruel community to express herself and find her dreams spoke to me. I also need a man like Asagai in my life.
Hansberry could have expanded the size of the story to further flesh out the many themes within it, but she portrayed them well with what she did write. The American dream, racism, money, etc. are all touched upon, which is why I suppose so many high schoolers are exposed to this work.
Overall, a solid play with strong characters. Not the most mind-blowing book, but not one that’s sleep-inducing either.