Lorraine Hansberry’s classic play, A Raisin in the Sun, culls its title from the infamous poem “Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes, and both works discuss what happens to a person when their dreams -- their hopes, their aspirations, their lives -- are endlessly put on hold. For this analysis of the dreams and character of Beneatha Younger in Raisin, I would like to pull on another dreamy poem of Langston Hughes’ entitled “Dream Boogie.” Like all the characters in the play, Beneatha has dreams that are dear to her, but their deferment does not cause them to dry up, fester, rot, crust, sag, or explode. Rather, the deferment of Bennie’s dreams expresses itself in her “dream boogie”: in her sarcastic, biting wit and her life perspective that to the outside world might seem a bit naive or cutesy, in much the same way that jazz is described in “Dream Boogie”. Through Beneatha’s relationships and interactions with her mother, Walter Lee, and Asagai, we see the effects of the deferment of a dream on Bennie, and the peculiar rhythm of her boogie.
The mother-daughter relationship between Beneatha Younger and Lena Younger is one that, at first blush, appears to be the typical struggle between a defiant daughter and her older, wiser mother. However, when we look deeper, we see the deferred dreams of both women come through. One morning after breakfast, Bennie admits to her mother that “I don’t believe in God. I don’t even think about it . . . I get tired of Him getting credit for all the things the human race achieves through its own stubborn effort.” (51) This brash statement is immediately followed by some slapping action on the part of the mother, who is naturally horrified at the blasphemous things coming from her offspring’s tender...
... middle of paper ...
...lminates in her relationship with Asagai, who represents to her the embodiment of her perceived identity: intellectual, cultured, and culturally aware. To Asagai, Bennie’s search for self is a tad amusing, a bit unrealistic, a trifle sad, and as misunderstood as the rhythm of the boogie to the untrained ear.
As far as dreams go, few are attained in A Raisin in the Sun. For Beneatha Younger, her dreams -- of understanding, of education, of self-value -- are constantly put on hold, deferred indefinitely. The strain of these deferments expresses itself in Bennie’s interactions with her mother, Walter Lee, and Asagai, and the metaphor of Langston Hughes’ “dream boogie” runs through her story. Beneatha is not a dried up, festering, stinking, crusty dreamer. She’s dancing her dreams to sleep, boogying her way through her feelings and making up her own rhythm for her life.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Lorraine Hansberry, the author of A Raisin in the Sun, supports the theme of her play from a montage of, A Dream Deferred, by Langston Hughes. Hughes asks, “What happens to a dream deferred?” He suggests many alternatives to answering the question. That it might “dry up like a raisin in the sun,” or “fester like a sore.” Yet the play maybe more closely related to Hughes final question of the poem, “Or does it explode?” The play is full of bombs that are explosions of emotion set off by the frustration of the Younger family, who are unable to grasp the possible reality of their dreams.... [tags: A Raisin in the Sun Essays]
917 words (2.6 pages)
- Although Mama, Ruth, Beneatha and Walter all live in the same house, there dreams are all different. All the characters want to for fill there dream but, what happens if these dream are deferred. Mama is the head of the house. She dreams that her family will be happy and that her children have the best life they can have. She does what ever she can to make her children’s dreams come true. Ruth is Walter's wife. Her dream is to have a happy family but she also wants to be wealthy. Beneatha is Mama’s daughter.... [tags: Lorraine Hansberry]
553 words (1.6 pages)
- In Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun”, she uses the African American Younger family as a representation of the entire race’s struggle for the American Dream. America has always had slogans such as “the land of the free” and “liberty and justice for all”. The Younger family is finding out, like generations before them, the American Dream isn’t at all what it seems if you’re black. The family eagerly awaits the insurance check from the death of their father, while living a life of constant struggle and hardships, in a Chicago neighborhood, on the Southside of town.... [tags: Lorraine Hansberry, Raisin in the Sun, racism, ]
1006 words (2.9 pages)
- Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun A Raisin in the Sun is one of the best works of Lorraine Vivian Hansberry, in which, through a black family, the Youngers, she talks about vital issues such as poverty, gender and racial discrimination. Hansberry's play focuses mainly on the dreams of the main characters, which motivates them. The title 'A Raisin in the Sun' has been taken from the poem "Montage of a Dream Deferred" written by Langston Hughes in which he talks about the consequences when dreams are put off for later.... [tags: Lorraine Hansberry Play Raisin Sun Essays]
1190 words (3.4 pages)
- “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry is a play about an African-American family, who faces discrimination and financial struggles, but still remains united throughout their journey in buying a new home. Just like the Youngers, people create lifelong goals and dreams, in which they want to accomplish. When they do not fulfill their dreams, it simply becomes “a raisin in the sun” because just like a raisin loses its juice when kept outside for too long, a dream loses its significance as well.... [tags: Play, African American Family, Discrimination]
1335 words (3.8 pages)
- ... Walter Younger says, “Man... I trusted you... Man, I put my life in your hands..”(128). Walter is just going mad because of what Willy did to him, he gave him everything he had in order to make sure his family can make it out of poverty and get the things he deserves from his hard efforts. Walter’s American Dream was also deferred because he could not raise the family from poverty by himself. Walter says, “You people put this money in my hand and you won 't ever have to live next to this bunch of stinking niggers.”(138).... [tags: African American, Langston Hughes]
1321 words (3.8 pages)
- ... After toiling over her personal identity, Beneatha chooses to accept her individuality even though it may not be the most conventional option for a woman of her time. Similarly, Walter strives to provide adequately for his family, but feels that his lifestyle restrains him from being a true man. Discussing the upbringing of his son, Walter professes, “…all I got to give him is stories about how rich white people live,” suggesting that Walter’s race restricts him from becoming successful and creating a better life for his family (11).... [tags: Racism, Race, African American]
1013 words (2.9 pages)
- "What Happens to a Dream Deferred?" Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun. Or fester like a sore– And then run?" (Langston Hughes). It is important to never lose sight of one’s dream. Dreams are what keep people moving in life, but if they are ignored, they may morph and lose their prevailing form. This is evident in Lorraine Hansberry’s "A Raisin in the Sun", as Walter’s, Beneatha’s, and Mama’s dreams become delayed, distorted, and blurred. Walter has long dreamed of making his family’s condition better, of giving them wealth that his low-paying job is unable to do.... [tags: Lorraine Hansberry]
1053 words (3 pages)
- ... Beneatha tells Asagai the reason she wanted to become a doctor in the first place was because she saw a little boy, when she was younger, had his face split open and a doctor was like God and sewed the boy back up. She wanted to cure people the way she saw the doctor did for the boy. But now she stopped caring, “because it doesn’t seem deep enough, close enough to what ails mankind. It was a child’s way of seeing things... (3, 133)” After losing the money, Beneatha gives up on hope that she could become a doctor.... [tags: Family, Dreams, Novel]
923 words (2.6 pages)
- The above passage taken from the play A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry between Mama and her son Walter shows how the author can address many themes of the play in one scene or even just a few lines; She addresses such themes as dreams, prejudice, and family. Mama is the head of the household where she lives with her son Walter and wife Ruth with their son Travis along with Walter’s sister Beneatha or Bennie as some like to call her. The passage tells the reader that Mama went out and did something to destroy one of Walter’s dreams.... [tags: essays research papers]
735 words (2.1 pages)