Raisin in the Sun Motif

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The Perfect Storm
The reoccurring theme of alcohol in A Raisin in the Sun manifests itself in Walter’s mind and he becomes metaphorically drunk, resulting in a clouded consciousness and a distorted reality of what his family stands for and what is truly best for them. Along the way he will do anything to achieve his goal and even guilt’s his mother into becoming an enabler to his new found addiction. The progression of this impairment deepens in the same way an alcoholic’s would until Walter hits a point of rock bottom, clearing his mind and making him realize the emotional storm he has put his family through. The repetitive theme of alcohol conveys the progressive intoxication of Walter with the idea of his liquor store solving all of the problems that his family faces.

Walter looks at the idea of starting a business as a very simple process, in the way that an alcoholic would view alcohol as a simple fix to his life. When the idea of the liquor store is first introduced to the audience, it is apparent that Walter feels a sudden rush of euphoria and excitement similar to the feeling one gets after the first sip of alcohol. Walter is eager to share his seemingly prosperous idea to Ruth, “That be ten thousand each. Course, there’s a couple of hundred you got to pay so’s you don’t spend your life just waiting for them clowns to let your license approved.” (33) Walter explains his plan with such simplicity and haste that he seems to believe that the labor intensive process of starting a small business can be achieved by someone with little knowledge of that particular business sector. He shows that he believes that a future in alcohol can solve all the problems that he and his family are suffering through. He even neglects to think that the money actually belongs to his mother and not him.

The more that alcohol inebriates Walter’s judgment concerning the morals of his family, the more he values the money which he wishes to put toward the liquor store. His...
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