Please select prompt #1 or prompt #2. Write about only one of the prompts.
- Langston Hughes’s poem “Harlem” on page 1043 poses a question: “What happens to a dream deferred?” Why do you think Lorraine Hansberry chose this poem as the epigraph for A Raisin in the Sun? Discuss the various “dreams” that come into conflict in the play. Which “dream” does the play seem to endorse? Does it ultimately answer Hughes’s question?
- “In Even More Crucial than in the South,” New York Times reporter Gertrude Samuels suggests that what African Americans were increasingly demanding in the late 1950s and early 1960s was not only an end to racial discrimination in housing, schooling, and employment but also and above all “personal dignity” (1530), a point echoed in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s reference, in “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” to “the stinging darts of segregation” (1535). Drawing on these and other contextual excerpts in this chapter, as well as A Raisin in the Sun, write a response exploring what the play might contribute to our understanding of the psychological and emotional effects of racial discrimination. How do the emotional effects of racial discrimination seem to affect the way the characters perceive themselves and each other?
Your postings will be reviewed according to the following criteria:
- Writing well-developed paragraphs relevant to the prompt(s) (minimum 300 words).
- Be sure that your thesis is explicit and supported with one to two quotations from the literature.
- Following the rules of Standard English (for example, no lowercase “i” for the pronoun I). Please proofread your writing before clicking the ‘submit’ button!
- When you include a quotation from the literature in your mini-esssay, please place an in-text citation (also called a parenthetical citation) immediately after you close the quotation marks and before you place a period at the end of your sentence. That way, anyone in the class (including me!) can easily find the quotation in the literature if necessary. If you’re not sure what to place inside the parentheses, there is instruction in the textbook in Chapter 31– Quotation, Citation, and Documentation.
- If you include in-text citations, there must be a Works Cited listing at the bottom of your post.
- Be sure to follow the “Quote Sandwich.”