"A Raisin in the Sun" Analysis
Upon walking out of Krannert's production of "A Raisin in the Sun," an eerie silence drizzled about the audience as people murmured and slowly shuffled towards the exits. After witnessing such a powerful yet melancholy piece of theater work, words seemed inappropriate. For three hours, "A Raisin in the Sun" encompassed us with racial, economic, and social issues of the 1950s. Swirling portions of humor, disgrace, pride, and sadness into a smooth blend, the play developed many twists and turns that kept the audience and myself completely alert. Throughout the three acts I could feel the audience, as well as myself, totally devoting themselves to the play. But after taking a step back, the play proved to produce much more than tears, gasps, and laughter; it created a new perspective of African American lifestyles in the 1950s.
When my father and I first settled in the theater, I immediately scanned the crowd. On the way to the production I envisioned, as superficial as it may seem, an auditorium crammed with African Americans and college students. But to my surprise, the majority of the playhouse flooded with middle‑aged Caucasian people. With suits and dresses on, clearly they were financially well off. On the contrary, I only observed a few African American people. I expected that more African American families would attend a play that pertained so relevantly to their past. Nevertheless, the demographics still posed an interesting point about who goes to these plays.
As a side note, I also observed many young children there. I thought this reflected well of the parents/guardians who brought them. It thoroughly proved to me that adults willingly want to teach their children, whether they be black or white, about African American culture and history. In addition, I also noticed that the children fully concentrated on the production. With three hours of dialogue, I predicted that the children would slowly become bored and jittery. But on the contrary, most seemed very attentive and absorbed in the play. Observing their behavior really inspired me to learn and fully absorb the play as well.
The production spearheaded with a solemn poem by Langston Hughes entitled "Harlem." Preparing for an emotionally empowering theater piece, the poem quieted the audience and placed a serious blanket over us. While appropriate for me, I found it extremely coincidental that the poem's title, ties in directly with James Baldwin and his extensive writings on the 1943 Harlem race riots. With the lights off and just a solitary voice reciting the poem, it gave us, the audience, an immediate notion of play's melancholy style.
Without delay, the stage lit up after the poem. The story jumps in with an African American family, the Youngers, in the 1950s. They live and work honestly, in one of south side Chicago's apartments. When an unexpected ten thousand dollars enters their lives greed, envy, and events involving racism...