Drama Analysis-A Raisin in the Sun

-Prompt-Often, pressure from other people or from outside forces might compel a person to take an action that he or she might not have taken ordinarily. Discuss and compare two characters from Raisin who was pressured into taking an action that he or she might not have taken on his or her own. Defend your argument with a close reading of no more than 3 specific scenes from the play.


Sample Answer

Sample Answer


Drama Analysis: A Raisin in the Sun


“A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry explores the impact of external pressures on individual choices and actions. This analysis focuses on two characters, Walter Lee Younger and Beneatha Younger, who are compelled by outside forces to make decisions that diverge from their initial inclinations. By examining key scenes from the play, we can gain insights into how societal expectations and personal circumstances influence the characters’ choices.

Thesis Statement

In “A Raisin in the Sun,” Walter Lee Younger is pressured into pursuing risky investment schemes due to his desire for financial success and societal expectations, while Beneatha Younger is influenced by family traditions and gender norms to reconsider her aspirations of becoming a doctor.

Walter Lee Younger: The Pressure for Financial Success

Walter Lee Younger, the protagonist of the play, faces immense pressure to fulfill his aspirations of achieving financial success and providing for his family. In Act I, Scene II, Walter’s frustration and desperation are evident as he discusses his dreams of investing in a liquor store with his mother, Lena. Despite initial reservations, Walter’s desire for economic empowerment leads him to make impulsive decisions that jeopardize the family’s future.

In Act II, Scene III, Walter’s vulnerability is further highlighted when he confronts Karl Lindner, a representative of the neighborhood association offering a buyout to prevent the Younger family from moving into a predominantly white neighborhood. Under the weight of societal prejudice and economic hardship, Walter contemplates accepting the offer, compromising his integrity and self-respect in a moment of weakness.

Beneatha Younger: Navigating Tradition and Aspiration

Beneatha Younger, Walter’s sister, grapples with conflicting pressures from her family’s traditions and her personal aspirations. In Act I, Scene I, Beneatha expresses her ambition to become a doctor, a goal that challenges gender norms and societal expectations of women during that era. Despite her determination and intellectual prowess, Beneatha faces skepticism and resistance from her brother Walter, who questions the practicality of her dreams.

In Act II, Scene I, Beneatha’s resolve is tested when she receives a marriage proposal from George Murchison, a wealthy suitor who embodies conventional success and stability. George’s materialistic values clash with Beneatha’s progressive ideals and desire for independence. This encounter forces Beneatha to reconsider her values and aspirations in light of societal expectations and familial dynamics.


Through the characters of Walter Lee Younger and Beneatha Younger, “A Raisin in the Sun” illustrates the complexities of navigating external pressures and internal aspirations. Walter’s pursuit of financial success and Beneatha’s quest for personal fulfillment reflect the tension between societal norms, family dynamics, and individual agency. By closely analyzing key scenes from the play, we can appreciate the nuances of their character development and the impact of external influences on their decisions. Ultimately, “A Raisin in the Sun” prompts us to reflect on the enduring relevance of these themes in contemporary society and the enduring struggle to reconcile personal aspirations with external pressures.


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