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Dreams in A Raisin in the Sun


       Lena, Walter, Ruth, and Beneatha Younger all lived under the same roof, but their dreams were all different. 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 the liquor store that he planned to invest with the money of his mother. Beneatha, in the other hand, wanted to become a doctor when she got out of college and Ruth, Walter's wife, wanted to be wealthy. "A Raisin in the Sun" was a book about "dreams deferred", and in this book that Lorraine Hansberry had fluently described the dreams of the Younger family and how those dreams became "dreams deferred."


       Lena Younger, Walter and Beneatha's mother, 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 dollars check in her hand, Lena decided to buy a three thousand dollars house in Clybourne Park and she was also going to put some of the money in the bank for Beneatha's medical school. Those were her dreams; they were so simple and ordinary but also were beautiful. She expected everybody to be delighted and surprised at the things she had done with the check and indeed, they did, except for Walter.


       Walter was upset when he heard his mother had spent the insurance money on the house and thought it wasn't fair that Beneatha got some of it for her medical school while he got nothing for his liquor store business. Lena, who always wanted her son to be happy, trustingly gave the rest of the insurance money to Walter. Holding the money in his hands, Walter thanked his mother and appreciated the trust she had in him. Walter then gave the money to his buddies to help him getting his liquor license without realizing that they betrayed him. As his dream crumbled to pieces, Walter was regret that he didn't listen to his mother, wife and sister.


       Ruth, Walter's wife, was pregnant when her husband was in a great despair. Although Walter lost the money and also her dream, Ruth forgave him and encouraged him to start everything over. Ruth, whose dream was to be wealthy and to have a fine family, calmly accepted the fact that her dream was only a dream. To her, it was a consolation that her husband had come back to reality after his unsuccessful dream.


       Beneatha, in the other hand, was upset when she heard Walter didn't put anything in the bank for her medical school. Sad and depressed that the reality turned out differently from her dream, Beneatha gave up hope and the thought of becoming a doctor was also faded. Fortunately, her friend Asagai came over and talked to her; he convinced her that there was still hope and ream in this world and that Beneatha should forget about the money because there wouldn't have been ten thousand dollars check if her father had not died. As Beneatha found her hope and dream return, she also realized that she would want to marry Asagai someday and practice her medical career in Nigeria, Asagai's homeland.


       Conclusively, the family forgot their despair and moved to the new house for a new life. Although they knew it was tough to start everything over, but for them, it was as if their lives had just begun. Lorraine Hansberry had successfully characterized the four main characters in the story as human beings with desires, dreams, aspirations, conflict, foibles, and strength. And it was "A Raisin in the Sun" that expressed those dreams and desires and how they ended up as "dreams deferred."


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