The name of the play comes from a poem by Landings Hughes, which refers to a raisin in the sun as a dream that “dried up,” or was never accomplished. The genre of this play is a tragedy, because the protagonist meets defeat in his greed with money and the family finds enlightenment from their new home.
This playwright takes place in Chicago, around the sass’s, during the civil rights movement. In both the play and film, have noticed several similarities and differences that modified this production. A family, who struggles to make ends meet in south side Chicago, recently lost their father. In the exposition, we see Walter, the protagonist, talk about his future investments in a liquor store while Ruth makes breakfast. In the meantime, Mama and her children are expecting a check from her husband’s life insurance, worth $10,000, which is just enough for Walter to invest with.
Walter and Ruth argue about his plans, explaining to him that that money does not belong to him and rejects any conversation avian to do with it. Life for this family is complicated with poverty and poor communication. Everyone in the household is expecting a slip of paper to change their lives. The complication of the play begins when the audience finds out that Ruth is pregnant. More conflicts arise when Mama receives the check, puts a down payment on a house, and gives the remaining amount to Walter to put into Beneath schooling and for him.
But selfishly, Walter puts the remainder of the check towards his liquor store investment, which come to find out in the climax, was a huge scam. Along with Walter’s regretful stake, a man with The Closure park Improvement Association has proposed an offer to the family by writing them a check to not move into their new home in Closure Park. Although Walter was tempted to take up the man’s offer and give a second try at investing he turns it down for his family, which brought them closer together than ever. They may still live in poverty, but they have a fresh start as a family in a new environment.
The major characters in the play are: Walter, a 30 year old man who works a dead end job, with money on his mind to make a better living for everyone in the household. Beneath, a young college student, aspires to become a doctor. Ruth, the wife of Walter, is a stay at home wife. And Mama, head of the household, is a strict and warm-hearted Christian woman who wants nothing but the best for her children. Walter is the protagonist of the play who is striving to get a business going so that he can afford more than the essential things in life.
His most drawn idea of making money is to invest it into a liquor store that Boob and Wily Harris talked him into. There are two antagonists in the play, Wily Harris and Karl Liner. These two characters connect to the inner of the play because even though Wily Harris scammed Walter out of his money, he was able to decline Karl Lenders offer. This play is a tragedy, because Walter faced defeat in his greed and learned that his family is worth more than any check. The major characters of the play were very abstract and realistic.
I felt that knew each one as a person while reading this play and also watching the film, except in the film, felt more sympathy for Walter. The film added on scenes that were not mentioned in the play originally, such as Walter working and going into the bar. When I saw how Walter had to behave t work and his down time at the bar, I felt more of a connection towards him because I understand that serving people is not a pleasant business. On the other hand, Mama, in the play and film, is exactly how I pictured her. I felt a strong reaction to her morals, because they reminded me of my own mother’s.
Beneath, in the play, seemed to me as very ambitious and self- seeking, but in the film, I thought she was a lot funnier. I believe the playwright chose these characters specifically, because they all essentially wanted the same thing, a better lifestyle, but were ignorant of each deeds goals to getting there. So how will $10,000 make a difference for Mama, her children, and the next generation? That is the main issue of the playwright. After reading the playwright, I believe the theme is money, and the message is that there are some things in life that money cannot buy.
The stage directions brought more drama to the play, as mentioned by Ms. Smith; so much was going on in between dialogue that it seemed more realistic. The costumes brought more credibility to the table, because we saw how people wore their clothes in the 1 ass’s. As we discussed in class, Mama always wore a hat, before she left the house. Ms. Smith mentioned that the white flowers on her hat were the same flowers in the bar, and to me think it symbolizes that no matter where Walter goes in life, his mother will always be there to lift him up.
There were some symbolic objects in the play, such as Mama’s plant, but overall this play is more representational and realistic. Lorraine Handlebars wrote this play in the era of which it was written and was awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, according to the book. Believe it was written with the audience being those who can relate to the problems presented by the characters and anyone who has aspires to do well in life. The play is definitely relevant today, because employment is difficult to come across and people are willing to do what they can to make a living.
If Ace’s theatre department were to mount this production, I think it would make an impact on a lot of students. Many first year students are coming to SF with no clue about college or the real world, and believe after watching this play, they will learn from Walter that money is not to be fooled around with. The majority Of the audience would be able to relate to the families financial issues too, but to really grab their attention, it would have to be updated to the 21st century time period. My overall impression of the play was that I enjoyed its realism.
I sometimes refuse to take life as it is, a moralist would agree, however I like plays that show me real deal. Poverty is what an excessive amount of Americans face today, but that isn’t what attracted me to this playwright. Although times may be tough, Walter made the decision to take a step further and live in a better home with his family. He could have easily taken the money, but he listened to his heart and stood up for Mama, Beneath, Ruth, Travis, and past generations. Know a good play when I see a change in a character, for better or worse.