The American Dream discusses the role of this theme in great works of literature such as "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "Death of a Salesman," "The Great Gatsby," "Their Eyes Were Watching God," and many others. With 20 essays and reprinted articles, this new title from the "Bloom's Literary Themes" series gives context and guidance to students studying the literary theme of the 'American dream.
In this first scholarly biography of Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965), the author of A Raisin in the Sun, theater professor Soyica Diggs Colbert considers the playwright's life at the intersection of art and politics, with the theater operating as a "rehearsal room for [her] political and intellectual work." Colbert argues that the success of Raisin overshadows Hansberry's other contributions, including the writer's innovative journalism and lesser known plays touching on controversial issues such as slavery, interracial communities, and black freedom movements.
"Never before, the entire history of the American theater, has so much of the truth of black people's lives been seen on the stage," observed James Baldwin shortly before A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway in 1959. Indeed Lorraine Hansberry's award-winning drama about the hopes and aspirations of a struggling, working-class family living on the South Side of Chicago connected profoundly with the psyche of black America--and changed American theater forever.
This interdisciplinary collection of commentary and forty-five primary documents will enrich the reader's understanding of the historical and social context of the play. A wide variety of primary materials sheds light on integration and segregation in the 1950s and 1960s; relationships between African Americans and Africans; relationships between men and women within African American culture; Chicago as a literary setting for the play; and contemporary race relations in the 1990s.
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