A Raising in the Sun 1962

Please read: As you noted in past submissions, fiction can reveal truths in ways that non-fiction may not.  Many of you discussed how one’s imaginative mind may be closer to dealing with real events through description, storytelling, art, and intimacy between the author, poet, or playwright, and the audience. Recall in Toni Morrison’s video “A Foreigner’s Home”, how she addresses issues of non-belonging in the U.S. and elsewhere through slam poetry and performance arts at the Louvre in Paris. In Hansberry’s play, you are bringing one issue that the play confronts in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s to the fore, or the present. Watch about the first 60 minutes, through Act 1 of this film version of the original broadway play.  Although there is a more contemporary version of the film, I believe this cast is untouchable in theatrical acumen and nuanced  performance. Answer 2-3 prompts in-depth, with quotes and citations from the 1961 film version in 150-200 words by the due date.   The playwright is Lorraine Hansberry so when citing include the playwright’s last name, hour, minute and second citation.  For example:  (Hansberry 01:06:23) which translates to 1 hr, 6 min, 23 seconds. In what ways does the opening dialogue between Ruth and Walter establish the major themes of the play?   Describe the shared values and dreams that give the family its cohesiveness. Provide concrete details.   Describe Walter’s view of women. Is his view validated by the actions of the women?   What is the significance of Mama’s plant? How does the symbolism of light and dark play itself out in these early scenes (think in both literal and inferential terms)?    Describe the speech patterns of the main characters. What function do the differences in diction serve? Is there any relationship between a character’s diction and his or her moral standing in the play? Explain.    Even though Big Walter is dead, he is an important figure in the play. Examine ways in which his presence is created, and explain what he represents.   Compare Walter’s passion to begin a new business with Beneatha’s desire for an African identity or becoming a doctor.   Consider the setting. How do the different settings in the film, reflect the characters’ demeanor? What does this suggest about their economic situation, hopes, vision for their future? Be very specific here in describing a setting and a very detailed response of its significance on the characters.

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