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A Raisin in the Sun | Study Guide

Lorraine Hansberry

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Professor Kristen Over of Northeastern Illinois University explains the main characters in Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin in the Sun.

A Raisin in the Sun | Characters

Character Description
Walter Walter Lee Younger, often called just Walter, is the man of the Younger household and has the goal of starting a small business. Read More
Mama Lena Younger, called Mama throughout the play, is the matriarch of the Younger family. Read More
Beneatha Beneatha, a 20-year-old college student, is called "Bennie" by her family and "Alaiyo" by her suitor Joseph Asagai. Read More
Ruth Ruth is Walter's wife, Travis's mother, and a cleaning woman. Read More
Travis Travis is Walter and Ruth's young son. Read More
Asagai Joseph Asagai is a college student, originally from Nigeria, who befriends Beneatha and encourages her to embrace her heritage through her dress, hair, music, and language.
Bobo Bobo invests in the liquor store along with Walter and, like Walter, is a victim of Willy Harris's theft.
George George Murchison, a wealthy college student courting Beneatha, represents ambitious young African Americans "assimilating" into white culture.
Mrs. Johnson Mrs. Johnson, a loud, opinionated elderly neighbor of the Younger family, shows solidarity with the Youngers but not with their goals of education and better jobs.
Lindner Karl Lindner is the white representative of the community association in the Youngers' new neighborhood and has the task of telling them they are not welcome, which makes him the play's primary antagonist, though he appears in only a few scenes.
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