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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, June 19

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Book Club Wed Jan 07 2009

A Raisin in the Sun Discussion Questions

Below are the questions we'll use to discuss A Raisin in the Sun. Feel free to post thoughts in the comments (spoilers allowed here) or join us next Monday at the Book Cellar when we'll discuss the book in person. I'm looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts on this classic play.

  • Before there is any dialogue, the author goes to great lengths to describe the furnishings in the Younger's home. Why does shes do this and what does it say about the family's life?
  • Is Walter a sympathetic character? How does he change throughout the course of the play? Have your feelings about him changed by the end?
  • What can you deduce about the character of Mr. Younger? What does his memory mean to the members of the family?
  • What does the Younger's new house signify to Lena? To Ruth? Why is Walter so strongly against he idea of moving to the new neighborhood?
  • As a young black woman in the 1950s, what does Beneatha's desire to become a doctor say about her character? What does it say about Lena's character that she is completely supportive her daughter's wishes? Why is Walter resentful of this?
  • Was Lena right to spend the money the way she wanted to? Should she have considered Walter's wishes first?
  • Why do you think Lena changes her mind and gives Walter the responsibility of handling the money? Regardless of Walter's subsequent actions, was this a smart decision?
  • Compare the personalities of Walter, George Murchison, and Asagai; how they different? Are they at all similar? How do they represent different archetypes of the "black man"? Would Beneatha be happy with either George or Asagai?
  • What is Karl Lindner's goal? Do you think he believes that what he's doing is right? How do the members of the Younger family react to his suggestions?
  • What is Beneatha's reaction when she realizes that she will not be able to go to medical school? How does her attitude and her wishes change?
  • Is the ending a happy one? Is there any hope that the Younger family will prosper in their new neighborhood? Is it realistic to think that they will?

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