A Raisin In The Sun: A Dream Deferred Essay
1609 Words7 Pages
“What happens to a dream deferred?” (Hughes l. 1) Langston Hughes asks in his 1959 poem “Dream Deferred.” He suggests that it might “dry up like a raisin in the sun” (Hughes ll. 2-3) or “stink like rotten meat” (Hughes l. 6); however, at the end of the poem, Hughes offers another alternative by asking, “Or does it explode?” (Hughes l. 11) This is the view Lorraine Hansberry supports in her 1959 play A Raisin in the Sun, in witch she examines an African-American’s family’s struggle to break out of the poverty that is preventing them from achieving some sort of financial stability, or the American Dream. It focuses on Walter’s attempt in “making it,” or “being somebody.” She also analyzes how race, prejudice, and economic insecurity…show more content…
that ain’t anything at all. Mama, I don't know if I can make you understand” (73). Walter is not able to provide for his family by American standards, and as a result, his family lives in poverty.
The predicament that Walter finds him-self in motivates him to want to invest in a liquor store in order to grasp some type of financial freedom. He doesn’t just want to have enough money to provide for his family, but he tells his mother, “I want so many things” (74). He is obsessed with earning a lot of money. At the beginning of the play Walter is waiting for Mama's check from the insurance company as if it was his own, and Beneathea has to remind Walter that, “that money belongs to Mama, Walter and if is for her to decide how she wants to spend it” (36). Here we see how he is searching for his identity with money. Much of Walter’s dialog is about making money or who has money. When his wife Ruth mentions that his friend Willy Harris is a good for nothing loud mouth, Walter retorts; “...And what do know about good for nothing loud mouth? Charlie Atkins was just a good-for-nothing loud mouth too, wasn’t he! He wanted me to go in the dry-cleaning business with him, and now he’s grossing a hundred thousand a year. A hundred thousand dollars a year! You still call him a loud mouth!” (32) The idea of making a hundred thousand dollars is what he had most on his mind, and to Walter the liquor store is how he will achieve that. The liquor store represents an
The American Dream in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
1020 Words5 Pages
“Check coming today?” The Life Insurance check that Mama will soon be receiving is the source of all the dreams in the Younger family. A major argument that Lorraine Hansberry makes in her play A Raisin in the Sun is the importance of dreams. Dreams are what each member of the Younger family is driven by. Mama wants to have her own home in a nice part of town; she does not want her children growing up in a place with rats. Walter wants to have a successful business so he can surpass the poverty that has plagued his family. And Beneatha wants to get a good education, become a doctor, and marry a nice man. Dreams are especially important to the Younger family as they come from a poverty laden family and desire to live the “American Dream.”…show more content…
Walter dreams of owning a liquor store, and he shows this throughout the whole play. Walter feels that “don’t nothing happen for you in this world ‘less you pay somebody off!” Owning a liquor store is Walter’s American dream, as he believes that it will provide him and his family with a greater income so they will not have to live in poverty anymore. However, Hansberry shows through Mama how they have different views of the American dream when she tells Walter that the liquor store would be un-Christian like and that they should spend the money on a new house instead. Hansberry makes Mama more convincing by showing her carrying a Bible as she comes out of her room in the first scene. Mama also is seen asking God for help and talking about God throughout the play. This is shown when Walter admits that the money Mama gave him was gone because his partner took it and Mama says “Oh, God… look down here – and show me the strength.” Mama is very angry that Walter wasted all of Beneatha’s school money, but she doesn’t let her temper get the best of her and instead goes to God for support.
The American dream that Beneatha wants to acquire is to receive a good education, become a doctor, and marry a good man. This is where two key characters come into play; George Murchison and Joseph Asagi. George is shown as stuck up and acting like a rich white person. This shows when George enters the Younger home and