Broadway productions come up with A Raisin in the Sun play in the early 60s. Sidney Poitier, Rudy Dee, Claudia McNeill and Diana Sands starred in the play. The plot of the play involves conflicts and divergent dreams of the Younger family in the three generations. Walter Lee, the son, Ruth, the wife, Travis, the son, Beneatha, the sister, and Matriarch Lena as mama, altogether are the Younger family members. Mama dreams of moving to a new and better neighborhood in Chicago, using the late husband insurance money. Chauffeur Lee is independent and has plans of financing a liquor store, while Beneatha dreams to study in medical school. All these prejudice and tensions make up the plot of the play. The play goes deep into the family love, sacrifice and trust to make up the theme of the play. Members of the Younger family in the play are fighting to maintain dignity in the changing world, using inspiration and hope (Eagan 590).
A Raisin in the Sun was performed during the era of the World War II. Lena Younger is the family mama who is the rock of the Younger family. Walter Lee together with his wife and son and Beneatha all live in the mother’s dwelling. Walter Lee is thirty something years old with no achievements in responsible tasks, only full of dreams. Beneatha is a college student who dreams to enroll into a medical school. The deceased father insurance money make Lee see that the only opportunity in hand to be a man is to open a liquor store. Beneatha clearly tells Lee the money is entitled to mother’s own actions and does not even consider the medical school dreams. Beneatha portrays such traits as generosity and respect as opposed to her selfish and egocentric brother (Eagan 590).
Mama has plans to start a new life in a new neighborhood using the money. Lee and the mother are able to come up with the idea of paying a deposit for a new house. Mama Lena is not selfish and considers the idea of sharing the money, ensuring that every family member gets his part. The remaining amount from the housing deposit is to be shared among Lee for his investments and Beneatha for her medical school fee. Mama Lena over trusts the son and does not pay the housing deposit by herself. Beneatha is not given any money for the medical school fee. Lee being the spoilt, selfish, lazy and dependent son squanders the entire sum of money. Lee neither pays the housing deposit nor the medical school fee. The welcoming committee of the new neighborhood calls mama Lena to dissuade the family plans for moving (Eagan 588).
The play is relevant, as it can be said that it depicts an ordinary family of nowadays world, with its problems and hardships. The play reveals the problems that family members deal with and the issues that arise among them. Lee is irresponsible and selfish, causing the whole family to struggle. Lena, together with the husband, has also failed in rising Lee to be independent. Lee is not responsible enough to move out of the family apartment. Beneatha, together with mama Lena, are too afraid of Lee to stand out on their own. The set of the play describes the uncivilized time when male were entitled to all actions (Eagan 597). Lena always dreamt about moving to the new neighborhood, which is totally different from their old Chicago apartment.
The lighting sets the mood of the play. Throughout the play, the lighting changes creating new moods at different times. Suspension and anxiety were brought by the sound and actors’ voice. The costumes and the producers’ actions were according to the play message. The play shows the family and family members’ characters. Watching the play makes one accept responsibility for his actions, since a slight misconduct in the family will result to the entire fall (Eagan 600).