Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Rasin in the Sun by Lorraine Handsberry

A Raisin in the Sun

Genre: Drama (Play format)
Source: Library
Series: Standalone
Buy It: The Book Depository
Challenge: No
This groundbreaking play starred Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeill, Ruby Dee and Diana Sands in the Broadway production which opened in 1959. Set on Chicago's South Side, the plot revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis and matriarch Lena, called Mama. When her deceased husband's insurance money comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans, however: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school.

The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama. Sacrifice, trust and love among the Younger family and their heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration. Winner of the NY Drama Critic's Award as Best Play of the Year, it has been hailed as a "pivotal play in the history of the American Black theatre." by Newsweek and "a milestone in the American Theatre." by Ebony.

     eh.  The only reason I picked up this book was because I had to read it for school.  I don't think that I would have picked it up otherwise but, I started reading it with an open mind.  If it wasn't a school night, it probably would've taken me an hour and a half to read but, I wound up finishing it in the morning.  In my opinion, A Raisin in the Sun was one of those books that wasn't great, wasn't awful, and wasn't special-at all.  It was completely "eh."  I actually thought that it was a little annoying and I rushed through it so that I would be done with it.

     My opinion may be exclusive to me because I'm sort of sick of this type of book.  I've had to read countless books about discrimination, poverty, and families with bad relationships and its not like I don't like reading about those topics but, when you put them all together, I usually don't like it.  I just feel like in books like these, nothing ever changes.  There is almost never a "wow" factor.
     On the other hand, I did like this book a little.  Some of the monologues had some impact on me.  The character's feelings were also expressed very well.  I thought that the character building was pretty good in the beginning.  The characters in the book definitely stood out as being very well written and I really enjoyed reading about them.  I won't go into detail on every character because I really liked them all and looking back on the book I realize that I did really enjoy them.
     Another reason that I didn't love A Raisin in the Sun was because it was monotonous.  They never left the house.  ever.  I wanted action or a change.  I thought that half way through the book they would've already moved!  It was very slow paced.
     Even though this play only took me a little while to read, I still struggled through the sluggish writing.  Personally, the book didn't "Wow" me but, I know a lot of people loved it.  I'd love to know your opinions.

Final Grade:



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