Raisin in the Sun: American Dream

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Raisin in the Sun: American Dream

By | April 2013
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In Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, actions to pursue the American Dream consistently move the play forward. Lorrain Hansberry produced this play in order to illustrate the importance of dreams in the everyday lives of ordinary people. The play begins at a time shortly after World War II, and the audience begins to become familiar with one of the many families who are struggling with money. Due to the state of the economy at that time, the play centrally focuses on American Dreams of a better life. However, because each characters dream is different, efforts to fulfill them cause great conflict.

Throughout the play, the author expresses that dreams depend solely on life experiences. The dream which Mama wishes to fulfill is to buy a house in order to provide for her family. She speaks to Ruth about wanting to invest some of the insurance money as a down payment “on a little old two story” (44). Although a lot of time has passed since Mama first dreamt of owning a home, she still wishes to fulfill that dream ensure that she can provide better opportunities for her family. Walter’s dream of owning a liquor store is much more materialistic than the dreams of the other characters. One day, Ruth says to Mama that Walter has “his heart set on that store,” which indicates his primary goal for money in order to support his family (41). The only problem with Walter’s logic is that he insists the only he can ultimately provide for his family is by owning the liquor store. As a more independent character, Beneatha’s dream of becoming a doctor would benefit her more than anyone else in her family. When Beneatha is talking to Asagai one day, she says that she has never gotten over the fact that a single being “could...make another all right again” (133). She then goes on to say that she wants to be able to do that.

In the play, the impacts of the actions that were taken to fulfill the American Dream are essentially evolutionary. Mama invests money from her late...
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