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Pat Swenson, CSUN - A Raisin in the Sun
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Prof Pat Swenson

Campus Email: pat.swenson@csun.edu

Elements of Fiction

Literary Theory

Myth & Archetype: The Hero's Quest

ProfPat's Main Page

ProfPat's Education Links

Department Information

Department of English

708 Sierra Tower
Phone: 818.677.3431

English Department Website

Liberal Studies Program

EA 100
Phone: 818.677.3300

Liberal Studies Website

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry - Discussion Guide



Lena Younger (Mama), Beneatha Younger, Walter Lee Younger, Ruth Younger

Travis Younger, Joseph Asagai, George Murchison, Mrs. Johnson

Karl Lindner, Bobo, Willy, Walter Younger, Sr.


Person-against-self - an internal conflict of feelings.

Person-against-person - the typical protagonist vs. antagonist scenario.

Person-against-society - the protagonist battles against the larger organizations of society
(or a system of beliefs held by society).

Person-against-nature - the protagonist is threatened by a component of nature.



Civil Rights and the Endless Struggle Against Human Oppression

Women's Rights Movement (The Outspoken -yet unnamed- feminism of Beneatha)

Value Systems of the Black Family

Concepts of African American Beauty & Identity

Class & Generational Conflicts

Human Aspiration & The Persistence of Dreams

Individual Fulfillment, Recognition, & Liberation

Mama's Potted Plant

Walter Sr.'s Inheritance

The New House in Clybourne Park

Setting: Time & Place

Sometime Between WWII and the Present (1958?)

The Slums of Southside Chicago

Aspects of the Theatrical Stage Production

Use of Dramatic Questions – dramatic hooks, devices to hold the attention of the audience. (Examples include: Will he come? Who did it? Will he or she succeed?)

Subdivisions: Scene & Act Construction – effect on plot pace, tension.

Staging: The Effect of a One Stage Set

The visual/audio production as stated in the stage direction (staging, lighting, backdrop, sound effects, music, etc.)