American Dream: a Raisin in the Sun

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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 A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, introduces the audience to the Youngers, an African-American family living in Chicago. Each member of the Younger family has a particular dream; some are achieved and some are not due to personal and social obstacles. Each of these dreams is representative of the American Dream, which asserts that everyone has the opportunity to improve their own lives as well as provide opportunities for the next generation through hard work.

When the raisin on the sun took place living the American dream was a dream of a land in which life could be richer and better in which anyone could have more opportunities, a land where there would be peace, freedom, and equality, but in reality it was more of a fantasy, everyone wanted to be a lawyer or a doctor etc.

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but many women couldn’t afford to do so, so instead they had to be housewifes. it was something to take the mind off of war and the inhumane, although during the era racism was big.

When you think of the American dream now it’s real, it’s something anyone could fight for it’s not only based on just living a wealthy lifestyle but it’s something you believe in and could fight for such as women fight for their power, or how the LGBT community fights for their passion, or the fact anyone could have many chances and ways of getting a career, I believe that a lot of people can say that the American Dream can not apply to everyone but that’s not true, the American Dream is what you want to achieve and following and trying to accomplish your dreams. At the end of A Raisin in the Sun, does Walter Lee make the right decision for his family? Contemplate the following potential effects of his choice: I believe that A Raisin in the Sun is essentially about dreams, every character has a different dream, for example Beneatha wants to become a doctor, Walter wants to have money by owning a liquor store so that he can afford things for his family, meanwhile Mama just wants her family to be happy together.

Unfortunately the family struggle to attain these dreams because of their money limit and including the fact that they were fighting through a time when racial discrimination was very popular. When Walter finds out his money is lost and gone I believe he eventually realizes that he cannot raise his family from poverty alone and he uses strength in uniting with his family. Eventually Walter begins to listen to Mama and Ruth talk of their dreams of owning a house and realizes that buying the house is the most important dream because it unites the family. The Youngers struggle socially and economically throughout the play but unite in the end to realize their dream of buying a house.

Mama strongly believes in the importance of family, and she tries to teach this value to her family as she struggles to keep them together and functioning. Walter and Beneatha learn this lesson about family at the end of the play, when Walter must deal with the loss of the stolen insurance money and Beneatha denies Walter as a brother. Even facing such trauma, they come together to reject Mr. Lindner’s racist overtures. They are still strong individuals, but they are now individuals who function as part of a family. When they begin to put the family and the family’s wishes before their own, they merge their individual dreams with the family’s overarching dream.

A Raisin in the Sun should be the book that absolutely deserves to remain in the English curriculum because it’s essentially about dreams, as the main characters struggle to deal with the oppressive circumstances that rule their lives. Every member of the Younger family has a separate, individual dream such as Beneatha wants to become a doctor, and Walter wants to have money so that he can afford things for his family. The Youngers struggle to attain these dreams throughout the play, and much of their happiness and depression is directly related to their attainment of, or failure to attain, these dreams. By the end of the play, they learn that the dream of a house is the most important dream because it unites the family.

In addition, the governing body of the Youngers’ new neighborhood, the Clybourne Park Improvement Association, sends Mr. Lindner to persuade them not to move into the all-white Clybourne Park neighborhood. Mr. Lindner and the people he represents can only see the color of the Younger family’s skin, and his offer to bribe the -Youngers to keep them from moving threatens to tear apart the Younger family and the values for which it stands.

Ultimately, the Youngers respond to this discrimination with defiance and strength. The play powerfully demonstrates that the way to deal with discrimination is to stand up to it and reassert one’s dignity in the face of it rather than allow it to pass unchecked. 

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American Dream: A Raisin in the Sun. (2021, Jun 16). Retrieved from