Fulfilling Your Dreams in the Play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

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What are dreams and why are they so important? I believe that dreams give people a hope and reason to live. No one can live with out it and their lives have no meaning and everything in the world seems pointless. No matter what who they are, where they live, people must build in their mind a target to reach, to satisfy. Those are what the purposes of Lorraine Hansberry when she wrote A Raisin in The Sun, a play which shows a dream of an African-American mother with the hope of finding a better life for her children and for herself. A Raisin in The Sun is not only a play just to be operated in theatre but also a life where people conflict with each others to deal with their dream.

Lena Younger or Mama is the head of the Younger family and just like her husband has a dream that her children and her descendants would have something of their own and be somebody in the world. She shows that she wants her children to be happy when she gives sixty-five hundred dollars to her son and her daughter from ten thousand dollars that was left to her by her late husband. But she also has her own dream, a house with a garden.” I had bout buying that house and fixing it up and making me a little garden in the back.”(page 375) Lena’s first dream however, does not really turn out the way she planned. When Walter Lee loses the money that she gives him, her dream is completely shattered and for a time, she must have felt awful, but she does not feels bad or sad and somehow she still manages to cope with this problem and was able to forgive Walter Lee and get on with their life.

How about Walter Lee, the man “never catch up with his dreams” (page 376), who always has a desire to have his own liquor store which he describes as” a business transaction that’s going to change out life” (page 402). Like his father, he is a stubborn man and has a dream neither his mother nor anybody else can understand “a giant surrounded by ants! Ants who can’t even understand what the giant is talking about.”(page 394) Even he has a job; it seems inadequate for his survival. He “opens and closes the door all day long.” (page 388) and he still “got a boy who sleeps in the living room” (page 369) His dissatisfaction becomes aggravated with his life and that is the reason why he wants to invest Mama’s insurance money into a liquor store. His wife Ruth, his sister Beanetha and Mama attack him for his ludicrous idea.

Only Walter Lee know he wants the best for his family and thinks the liquor store will provide him the financial security needed to move them out of poverty. Walter Lee has big dream, but his methods to achieve his goal and ideas are somewhat irrational; a person can not be a business man who owns and operates a business over night. Every male’s goal in America is to be regarded as a provider for his family. However, I think, the society does not always offer black males advantages of feeling secure enough to support their families. It is easy to criticize and blame society for not giving Walter Lee the opportunities of his White equal, but we should take a look back at the way he carries on his goals, too quick and too careless.

The result is certain, Willy runs off with his money. Walter Lee realizes that he has thrown Beanetha’s future away. He is ashamed of abusing Mama’s trust in him and betraying not only his sister but the rest of the family as well. However, he surprises his family at the end of the last minute and stands up for everything they have worked for years and years of hard labor with nothing to show for it. He buys the house in the all white neighborhood. Walter Lee gains the knowledge his mother has been trying to teach him his entire life: money is never the answer to happiness, family is everything you need. Like she said to Walter Lee:” I ain’t never stop trusting you. Like I ain’t stop loving you.” (page 402)

Another character, Beanetha Younger, is also a significant role in the play. She is the one that makes Walter Lee feels guilty as well as choosing her destiny by going to Africa with her fianc to carry on her dream, to become a doctor. Furthermore, Beneatha’s dream is also molded by the poverty. Although becoming training to medical school, she has to abandon this dream. Beneatha is still motivated to move to Africa where she can become a doctor for people who are more poverty than she. There is no benefit in Beneatha’s dream, it is just try to reach what she considers her goals and makes them come true even sometime she thinks it is impossible when Walter Lee lost her money. That is her ambition, it is not only hers, it is also her family’s.

The play shows how people still go on living even when some of their dreams do not come true. The themes of all are the hardship of a black family living in poverty. But inside it is a big conflict between many members of that family, between mother and son; brother and sister, friends and friends and between people and their dream. Lorraine Hansberry was optimistic about dreams and thought that they are possible. She was very clear about how she felt and the play shows most vividly.

Hansberry’s play demonstrates her attitude towards dreams and the consequences and obstacles that people have to face if they want to make their dreams come true.

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Fulfilling Your Dreams in the Play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. (2023, May 11). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/fulfilling-your-dreams-in-the-play-a-raisin-in-the-sun-by-lorraine-hansberry/

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