The American Dream In A Raisin In The Sun By Lorraine Hansberry

1061 words - 5 pages

“Check coming today?” The Life Insurance check that Mama will soon be receiving is the source of all the dreams in the Younger family. A major argument that Lorraine Hansberry makes in her play A Raisin in the Sun is the importance of dreams. Dreams are what each member of the Younger family is driven by. Mama wants to have her own home in a nice part of town; she does not want her children growing up in a place with rats. Walter wants to have a successful business so he can surpass the poverty that has plagued his family. And Beneatha wants to get a good education, become a doctor, and marry a nice man. Dreams are especially important to the Younger family as they come from a poverty laden ...view middle of the document...

However, Hansberry shows through Mama how they have different views of the American dream when she tells Walter that the liquor store would be un-Christian like and that they should spend the money on a new house instead. Hansberry makes Mama more convincing by showing her carrying a Bible as she comes out of her room in the first scene. Mama also is seen asking God for help and talking about God throughout the play. This is shown when Walter admits that the money Mama gave him was gone because his partner took it and Mama says “Oh, God… look down here – and show me the strength.” Mama is very angry that Walter wasted all of Beneatha’s school money, but she doesn’t let her temper get the best of her and instead goes to God for support.
     The American dream that Beneatha wants to acquire is to receive a good education, become a doctor, and marry a good man. This is where two key characters come into play; George Murchison and Joseph Asagi. George is shown as stuck up and acting like a rich white person. This shows when George enters the Younger home and Walter calls him “black brother,” and George replies with “Black brother, hell!” The Youngers, being proud of their heritage, do not like this much. It seems to them that he has betrayed his heritage and taken the other side. In a sense I think that George’s white shoes were a symbol of him wanting to be and acting white. On the other hand, Asagi is shown as very proud of his heritage and Hansberry uses this to present him as a better man. Hansberry does this by first presenting Asagi with a present for Beneatha after returning from his trip from Canada. Asagi already starts off better than George because he is bringing her presents of Nigerian robes, showing that he is proud of his heritage and wants Beneatha to be proud of her heritage also,...

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