In Lorraine Hansberry’s play, “A Raisin in the Sun,” she does a great job of intertwining Langston Hughes’ poem “Montage of a Dream Deferred,” to incorporate her underlying theme of dreams. In his poem, Hughes asks "What happens to a dream deferred?" and then goes on to list the different things that might happen to a person if his dreams are put "on hold." His overall point is that whatever happens to a postponed dream is never positive. Meanwhile, the question Hansberry poses in her play is, "What happens to a person whose dreams grow more and more passionate — while his hopes of ever achieving those dreams grow dimmer each day?" Dreams get put on hold for many different reasons but in the case of the Youngers, it was their home environment that ensured that none of them would be able to accomplish their ultimate dreams. Lena, Walter, Ruth, and Beneatha Younger were a poor African American family that shared a small one-bedroom apartment in the south side of Chicago. Each person had vastly different goals and dreams. Being the head of the household, Lena dreamed the dreams of her children and would do whatever it took to make those dreams come true. Walter, Lena's oldest son, set his dream on starting his own business with a liquor store. He had the basic “American Dream” of starting from the bottom before ultimately working your way to the top with his entrepreneurial spirit. Beneatha, on the other hand, wanted to become a doctor when she got out of college and Ruth, Walter's wife, wanted to be wealthy. While trying to reach these dreams, each member of the the Younger family had their own dreams postponed and put on hold at some point or another for various reasons. Lena was a widow in her early sixties who devoted her life to her children after her husband's death. Retired from working for the Holiday's family, she was waiting for her husband's insurance money to arrive. With the ten thousand dollar check in her hand, Lena decided to buy a three thousand...
Cited: Hansberry, Lorraine. "A Raisin in the Sun." The Norton Introduction to Literature. By Alison Booth and Kelly J. Mays. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2011. 950-1021. Print.
Hughes, Langston. "What Happens to a Dream Deferred?" The Norton Introduction to Literature. By Alison Booth and Kelly J. Mays. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2011. 950. Print.
Kristin L. Matthews. "The Politics of “Home” in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun." Modern Drama 51.4 (2008): 556-578. Project MUSE. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. .
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