One way to watch this star-powered revival with Denzel Washington and Sophie Okonedo is to measure the distance fromwhen Lorraine Hansberry 's stately play forecast the profound social transformations to come from America's burgeoning civil rights movement. Acknowledging this history, director Kenny Leon prefaces the evening with a short audio clip in which Hansberry speaks of the need for a theatre that can illuminate the nation.
Yet the threat of violence that greets the Youngers when they move to the mostly white neighborhood of Clybourne Park at the end of the narrative was a daily reality for Hansberry growing up. When the Hansberrys moved to the white neighborhood of South Park, they had to hire a bodyguard for protection.
Nearly all the actors from the Broadway cast appear in the film version. Although the film performed decently at the box office, it did not receive the same level of popular and critical acclaim that the play had.
Many reviewers found the film to be not particularly cinematic, noting that it looked like a photographed play.
Lena, the matriarch, recalls both the danger that black Americans faced in a country that immediately replaced slavery with legal apartheid and the simultaneous upheaval and opportunity that characterized the Great Migration of southern blacks to northern urban centers in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Walter Lee, her son, feels emasculated because of his inability to provide for his wife, Ruth—who works as a domestic for a white family and learns that she is pregnant with her second child near the beginning of the film—and their ten-year-old son, Travis.
But the film also demonstrates how the Youngers, and by extension all black Americans, have not only coped with these struggles but also found ways to thrive despite them. One such moment occurs between Walter and Beneatha.
Walter and Beneatha, like most African Americans at the time, knew little of African people, history, or culture. As bombastic as the scene is, it also makes viscerally apparent the pleasure and release that Walter and Beneatha experience in this moment of playacting.
The family tensions are temporarily put aside, and the communion between the siblings demonstrates their fundamental bond. Another scene of connection, a much more subdued and tender one, occurs near the end of the film, when the family gathers to present gardening tools to Lena.
Within this moment of celebration, Travis hands her a wide-brimmed hat decorated with fake fruit, the sight of which drives the adults into fits of laughter. Yet Lena nurtures the spirit in which the gift was given, hugging her grandson tightly and telling him that she loves his present.
The lead performances in the film are very strong, and the chemistry among the actors unmistakable, a rapport no doubt honed during the run of the stage play.
Our frustration with Walter Lee through much of the film makes his redemption in the final scene especially poignant. An important example is the aforementioned scene in which the family takes a cab to Clybourne Park to tour the neighborhood.
Hansberry wanted to include shots of the white people who would soon be their neighbors, in order to underline the danger of the move; Columbia Pictures refused to do so.Raisin in the Sun Andrea Thomas A Raisin in the Sun was an awesome book about many things, it was about a black family struggling with economic hardship and racial prejudice, this play showed the importance of family, the value of dreams, and about racial discrimination.
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Full Glossary for A Raisin in the Sun; Essay Questions; Cite this Literature Note; Character Analysis Joseph Asagai Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List. An African student, Joseph Asagai courts the attentions of Beneatha. Asagai's philosophy runs counter to the Western perception of success at any cost.
He questions, for example, the. Major Themes in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. Learn and understand all of the themes found in A Raisin in the Sun, such as Race Relations. Learn how the author incorporated them and why.
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Success of a Family: Aspirations & Motives of the Younger Family in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun Words 7 Pages Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun revolves around a short but difficult period in the lives of the Younger family.