1. How does the poem by Langston Hughes, from which the play A Raisin in the Sun takes its name, relate to the themes in the play?
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
2. What sort of statement does Lorraine Hansberry (the author) seem to be making about race? Does she make more than one statement? If so, do these statements conflict with each other?
3. Of the major characters in A Raisin in the Sun (Beneatha, Walter Lee, Mama, Ruth), choose one which you would consider to be a protagonist and which to be an antagonist and explain why.
The Glass Menagerie
4. Of the main characters (Tom, Laura, or Amanda), which face life most unrealistically? Does this contribute to the themes of illusion versus reality featured in the play?
5. Discuss the symbol of the glass menagerie. What does it represent? Does it represent the same things throughout the play, or does its meaning change?
6. What life was like for Minnie Wright when John Wright was alive? How do the props in the play come to represent their life together, and the motive for his murder?
7. How might the circumstances of the character Minnie Wright compare to Mrs. Mallard from The Story of an Hour or the narrator from The Yellow Wallpaper?