Significance of Dramatic Techniques in Raisin in the Sun

Comment on the significance/importance of any two dramatic techniques in the play.


Mama Lena Younger recalled her experience when she got married. Not quite two weeks, her husband, Big Walter Younger had planned to buy a house at the present house, but things didn’t work out; it was an unfulfilled dream. Again, she recounted also the loss of her child, little Claude, she thought she would lose the husband too. She had insisted that “…when I lost that baby – I almost thought I was going to lose Big Walter too. Oh, that man grieved himself”. (p.28). she recalled that her husband had once said that it “seems like God didn’t see it fit to give the black man nothing but dreams”. Beneath equally recalled her childhood experience, when they said to take their sleds out…and in one of those plays a boy named Rufus hit the sidewalk and his face split, she wanted to fix it. This for her was truly being God. (104). Mama once again recalled what they told her as a growing woman: “Lena Eggleston, you aim too high all the time, that… Lena…is a high-minded thing…”(110). These and many more bring to the fore, memories of the past and thus serve as a potent technique to sustain the plot.


The suspense technique arouses curiosity and anxiety arid sustains interest, several textual references can attest to the assertion. The play begins with Ruth calling both Travis (son) and Walter (husband) by 7.30 to hurry and go the bathroom. One would be anxious to know why. Somewhere down the Street, there is little commotion, the family is agitated, Travis is downstairs. As they call him upstairs, he describes how the people in the street killed a big rat, and then they got him to a corner and Bam! Bam! Bam!

Other instances include Mama Lena’s encounter after getting the money. Walter thinks his dream will be realized. However, as Manna tells him” that she bought a new house, Walter is downcast. Again, the drama that played nut when Bobo tells Walter about the investment money is full of suspense. It took a while before Bobo let the cat out of the bag. Asagail’s visit has some suspense too, his parcel and his feeling for Beneatha are all surrounded in suspense. These instances of suspense sustain the reader’s curiosity, to know what is next, thus heightening the interest.


The description of the encounter with the rat given by Travis Willard Younger creates humour. He paints a beautiful picture of the scene and one can imagine how the big rat was still running about with blood, all over the street. Beneath puts a Yoruba folk song-“Ogomogo Siay”, not only does she dance to the surprise of Ruth, she sings the lyrics too, to the delight of Ruth.

Between Walter and Ruth, humour is created. As Walter thinks of something serious, Ruth wants him to eat his egg. He remarks that each time he wants to think of something serious, a woman walks to him and says, “eat your egg.” Furthermore, Walter, in his wishful thinking hopes to be a wealthy man with influence, such that he will buy big cars, have people to work for him and answer him “Yes Sir,” Meanwhile, he is a driver for a white family.

Finally, one prominent aspect of the drama which intensifies its humour is the LANGUAGE. The language is a blend of modern English, Pidgin English and lots of American jargon. The use of contracted forms of speech can be seen all over the play.

we ain’t going to give up”,

“new York ain’t got nothing, Chicago ain’t…” (p. 61).

Moreover, the constant use of exclamations, ellipsis and question signs intensify the language (diction) and these add to make the drama more exciting.

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