A Raisin in the Sun Discussion Questions

  1. The play is prefaced by a Langston Hughes poem. How does the play illustrate the theme of the poem?
  2. Why do you think all the scenes take place in the family’s house?
  3. How is Beneatha different from other Younger family members?
  4. How is the theme of assimilation treated in the play?
  5. What are the greatest strains on Walter and Ruth’s marriage?
  6. To what extent do you think Hansberry is critiquing traditional sex roles in the play?
  7. In what ways is Hansberry challenging stereotypes of African Americans in the play?
  8. How does Walter change from the beginning of the play?
  9. Why do you think Mama changes her mind and gives Walter the insurance money?
  10. Why does Mrs. Johnson say that the Youngers are proud?
  11. Why is Mama’s little plant so important to her? What does she mean when she says “It expresses ME”?
  12. What does the new house signify to each of the Youngers?
  13. Look closely at Karl Lindner’s speech when he talks to the Youngers. What do you notice about the way he uses language?
  14. Who is the main character in the play?
  15. The play was written and produced over 40 years ago. To what extent do you think that conflicts and issues presented in the play are still relevant?

Content last updated: April 30, 2003

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