Write a research essay of 2500-3000 words that responds to one of the following prompts:
1. Compare and contrast A Raisin in the Sun and Clybourne Park by focusing on a single issue: race; class; the effect race has on class; the effect class has on race; the effect both race and class have on property ownership; the effect race and/or class have on marital relationships; how racial considerations motivate the character’s actions; etc.
2. Compare and contrast the gentrification of Clybourne Park, as it is presented in the play Clybourne Park, with gentrification either in Santa Barbara, or in your hometown. (You need to know the area well.)
3. In the 1950s, institutional racism (discrimination in housing, employment, education, government services, etc.) played a large role in denying African-Americans their civil rights. In the 2000s, gentrification has become a new form of institutional racism that once again threatens to deny African-Americans equal opportunity. Write an essay that focuses on the ways that gentrification in Clybourne Park represents a version of the institutional racism found in A Raisin in the Sun.
4. Compare and contrast the two acts of Clybourne Park. How has racism changed over the past 50 years? In what ways does it still persist? Be specific. Focus on particular characters, speeches, actions, props (including the set), etc.
5. Write an essay that traces all the connections between A Raisin in the Sun and Clybourne Park. You’ll probably want to start with characters (and their relatives) that the plays have in common, but then dig deeper into the real situation of institutionalized racism in Chicago’s Clybourne Park area and how it has changed over the years.
6. All the families in A Raisin in the Sun and Clybourne Park seem to be seeking some version of the “American Dream.” Develop a definition of the American Dream, then apply it to the two plays as you investigate 1) which characters are coming closest to achieving that dream, 2) which characters are failing, and 3) why one group is more successful than the other.
You must use at least 10, but no more than 15, critical/secondary sources. Correctly document your citations using MLA style documentation and include a separate Works Cited page. Your sources will probably come from multiple academic fields, but each author must be an authority in her/his field.