Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun Essay examples
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Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun
In the play, A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, one of the most important themes is the American Dream. Many of the characters in this play have hopes and aspirations; they all strive towards their goals throughout the play. However, many of the characters in the play have different dreams that clash with each other. Problems seem to arise when different people’s dreams conflict with one another; such as Walter’s versus Bennie’s, George’s versus Asagai’s, and the Clybourne Park versus the Younger’s.
Walter and Bennie both have very different mindsets and they constantly are fighting, therefor they both have very different dreams that are on opposite ends of the spectrum.…show more content…
They both are greedy in wanting what’s best for them, and they fail to see how each other’s dreams can help the whole family in general. If Walter would realize that if Bennie became a doctor they would make more money, then he might have supported her because it would help the family. Bennie would have supported Walter’s dreams more if she realized how profitable a liquor store could be, and how that could possibly help pay for medical school. It is this stubbornness (on Walter’s behalf mainly) that loses them the money.
The second set of dreams that are in conflict with each other is George’s Dream vs. Agasis's dream. George’s dream is simply to blend in, become successful. He feels as if he is as much an American as anyone else, White or Black, and it is his dream to blend in and assimilate. George accepts that he has become part of American culture and society, he wants to be. Furthermore, he tries to impose he viewpoints on Bennie, and get her to disregard the ideas that Asagai is telling her. Agasis’s Dream is to make a successful Africa. All he wants to do is create a better Africa, and a better home for his people. He says, "I will go home and much of what I will have to say will seem strange to the people of my village. But I will teach and work and things will happen, slowly and swiftly." ( ) This shows how he has only one dream - the dream of saving Africa, but this dream is very different from George’s dream of
A Raisin in the Sun portrays a few weeks in the life of the Youngers, an African-American family living on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s. When the play opens, the Youngers are about to receive an insurance check for $10,000. This money comes from the deceased Mr. Younger’s life insurance policy. Each of the adult members of the family has an idea as to what he or she would like to do with this money. The matriarch of the family, Mama, wants to buy a house to fulfill a dream she shared with her husband. Mama’s son, Walter Lee, would rather use the money to invest in a liquor store with his friends. He believes that the investment will solve the family’s financial problems forever. Walter’s wife, Ruth, agrees with Mama, however, and hopes that she and Walter can provide more space and opportunity for their son, Travis. Finally, Beneatha, Walter’s sister and Mama’s daughter, wants to use the money for her medical school tuition. She also wishes that her family members were not so interested in joining the white world. Beneatha instead tries to find her identity by looking back to the past and to Africa.
As the play progresses, the Youngers clash over their competing dreams. Ruth discovers that she is pregnant but fears that if she has the child, she will put more financial pressure on her family members. When Walter says nothing to Ruth’s admission that she is considering abortion, Mama puts a down payment on a house for the whole family. She believes that a bigger, brighter dwelling will help them all. This house is in Clybourne Park, an entirely white neighborhood. When the Youngers’ future neighbors find out that the Youngers are moving in, they send Mr. Lindner, from the Clybourne Park Improvement Association, to offer the Youngers money in return for staying away. The Youngers refuse the deal, even after Walter loses the rest of the money ($6,500) to his friend Willy Harris, who persuades Walter to invest in the liquor store and then runs off with his cash.
In the meantime, Beneatha rejects her suitor, George Murchison, whom she believes to be shallow and blind to the problems of race. Subsequently, she receives a marriage proposal from her Nigerian boyfriend, Joseph Asagai, who wants Beneatha to get a medical degree and move to Africa with him (Beneatha does not make her choice before the end of the play). The Youngers eventually move out of the apartment, fulfilling the family’s long-held dream. Their future seems uncertain and slightly dangerous, but they are optimistic and determined to live a better life. They believe that they can succeed if they stick together as a family and resolve to defer their dreams no longer.