Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun - Dreams Essays

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A Raisin in the Sun - Dreams


The play A Raisin in the Sun demonstrates the hardships and successes of the members of a black family living in the south side of Chicago during the 50’s. For the Youngers, dreams are life. They are what bring the family together and pull it apart throughout the play. Each member of the family has a particular dream, and each of those dreams is like a wall being built between its owner and various other members of the family. Everyone’s dream straddles the line between selfishness and goodness for the family; however, some, like Walter’s, seem to be pulled more by the gravity of selfishness. Both Mama and Ruth share the same dream, but each has a slightly different reason for her
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The only thing he sets himself up for, however, is failure.

Mama also has her dream: a new house. Her late husband worked his entire life to move his family up in the world, and Mama intends to fulfill her husband’s dream for his family. When the insurance check comes, Mama immediately puts the down payment on a house. Walter’s response to this is to get angry and leave. At this time one might ask if Mama was wrong to pursue her own dream and leave Walter’s like she has done for her son’s entire life. However, when Willy runs off with the money that Mama gave to Walter, the reader learns that, at least this time, Mama made the right decision in not giving all the money to
Walter. As in the poem Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes, Mama’s dream has sagged “like a heavy load” for her whole life, and now that the resources are available to her, she wants to drop her burden and start anew. Mama’s dream is less selfish than her son’s, and in the eyes of a virtue-seeking society, this makes her the better person.

Of the entire family Ruth has the most selfless dream of all. Hers is that the family can be whole and happy. When Mama buys the house, Ruth is overjoyed because it is a new start, and it represents the hardships that the family has and will overcome. Mama

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