by Lorrain Hansberry

1930. .The Author HANSBERRY.Hansberry studied painting in Chicago and Mexico. a real estate broker. fought for years against restricted housing. Lorraine (1930-65). ‡ Before his Supreme Court victory. Still disillusioned with prospects for black equality. the family integrated a white neighborhood. Born in Chicago on May 19. the family relocated to Mexico. ‡ Before moving to New York City in 1950. ‡ Father. ‡ Playwright.

was produced off-Broadway after her death in New York City on Jan.Author Continued ‡ In 1959 'A Raisin in the Sun'. 12. and Black'. ‡ ¶To Be Young. and performed by blacks-by a black woman. was 'The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window' (1964). based on her writings. ‡ Adapted as 'Raisin'. directed. Gifted.was the first Broadway play produced. . 1965. ‡ Hansberry·s second Broadway play. it won a Tony for best musical in 1974.

Setting ‡ This play takes place on the South Side of the city of Chicago. . ‡ Occurs between 1945-1959 ‡ Most of the play occurs in the apartment of the Younger family.

THEMES ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Prejudice Social Justice Personal Relationships Fate Consequences of Actions Personal Achievement Family Betrayal Identity Gender Roles .


The matriarch of the family. moral. Mama is religious.LENA YOUNGER (Mama) ‡ (´Mamaµ) . and maternal.Walter and Beneatha·s mother. She wants to use her husband·s insurance money as a down payment on a house with a backyard to fulfill her dream for her family to move up in the world. .

When the play opens. . he wants to invest his father·s insurance money in a new liquor store venture. Walter is a dreamer. He wants to be rich and devises plans to acquire wealth with his friends. particularly Willy Harris. He spends the rest of the play endlessly preoccupied with discovering a quick solution to his family·s various problems.Walter Lee Younger ‡ The protagonist of the play.

She dreams of being a doctor and struggles to determine her identity as a welleducated black woman. .Mama·s daughter and Walter·s sister.BENEATHA YOUNGER (Bennie) ‡ (´Bennieµ) . Beneatha is an intellectual. Twenty years old. she attends college and is better educated than the rest of the Younger family. Some of her personal beliefs and views have distanced her from conservative Mama.

She is about thirty. but her weariness makes her seem older. she continues to be an emotionally strong woman. Her marriage to Walter has problems.RUTH YOUNGER ‡ Walter·s wife and Travis·s mother. but she hopes to rekindle their love. Constantly fighting poverty and domestic troubles. Ruth takes care of the Younger's· small apartment. Her almost pessimistic pragmatism helps her to survive. .

Travis earns some money by carrying grocery bags and likes to play outside with other neighborhood children. but he has no bedroom and sleeps on the livingroom sofa. .TRAVIS YOUNGER ‡ Walter and Ruth·s sheltered young son.