The American Dream; is it the same for everyone?
Lorraine Hansberry shows us the American Dream means different things to different people, however, in the end; all anyone ever really wants is happiness, no matter what that means to them. The characters in this play have hopes, dreams and aspirations, striving toward their own goals yet coming to the same place and stand up for each other. The American dream is so many things to so many people. It is all based on the culture we come from, economic background of our families, social standings in society. Happiness is only one part of the American Dream. Mama wanted her children to be happy, Walter thought that having money and owning his own business would make him happy, Ruth wanted to make everyone happy and Beneatha had many ideas of happiness. For this family, coming from a poor black community, what they all really wanted was to be able to live somewhere with room for everyone in the family, to have a bit of money and not struggle. How they each went about it was very different. The central conflict of the play lies in Walter's idea of this American dream. Walter buys into the middle-class beliefs of materialism. “Charlie Atkins wanted me to go into the dry-cleaning business with him, now he is making A hundred thousand dollars a year. (1297) Walter wanting to be a business owner actually clouded his judgment of what was right for the entire family, owning something was what would make him happy, just look at Charlie Atkins. Money would make Walter happy, until losing it made him more unhappy then before he actually had it.
Having dreams is what everyone in the Younger family lives for. They all want a fair chance at success and social acceptance. Each family member is selfish in their thoughts on how to spend money that isn’t even theirs, each having plans for what will happen to it. The American Dream is ever changing to most people, but, to the Younger...