Raisin in the Sun Analysis
The Sacrifice of Walter Lee Younger
Throughout the play, A Raisin in the Sun, the Younger family struggles to come together as a family. One of the main impediments in their unity is their differing views on the world. Each character has their own dream and is unwilling to sacrifice that dream for anything. They are afraid of having their dream deferred. Their dreams, especially Walter Lee’s, break the family apart, and it is only when they unite their dreams together that they unite the family. Most of the members of the Younger family have some kind of individual dream. Beneatha wants to be a doctor; Ruth wants to move into a home that is her own; Mama simply wants to keep the family together; and Walter wants to be able to provide comfortably for his family. All these differing dreams and goals cause rifts in the family from time to time, but none more so than Walter Lee Younger’s dream.
Walter is a pivotal character in the play. His actions shape the plot unquestionably, and it is because of his strong will and perseverance towards his dream that the plot progresses as it does. He believes that his way is the best for the family and he will do anything to achieve it. After feeling closer to his dream than ever before he tells Travis, “Just tell me what it is you want to be- and you’ll be it…. Whatever you want to be – Yessir! You just name it, son… and I hand you the world!” (Hansberry, 109). This reinforces the idea that Walter thought that his dream would save his son. In her book, Worlds of Pain, Lillian B. Rubin writes, “For the child – especially a boy – born into a professional middle class home, the sky’s the limit; his dreams are relatively unfettered by constraints… For most working class boys, the experience is just the reverse” (Rubin, 38). The life of a child in a professional middle class home is exactly what Walter wants for his son, and he would do...
Cited: 1. Bahr , Howard M. , and Kathleen S. Bahr . "Families and Self-Sacrifice: Alternative Models and Meanings for Family Theory." Social Forces Vol. 79.No. 4 (2001): 1231-1258 .
2. Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. New York: Vintage, 2004.
3. Hughes, Langston. “A Dream Deferred.” Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the
Sun. New York: Vintage, 2004.
4. Rubin, Lillian B.. Worlds of Pain: Life in the Working-Class Family. New York: Basic Books, 1992.
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