Dreams Are Powerful Things in Literature Works

1467 Words6 Pages
“What happens to a dream deferred?” This provocative question is posed by Langston Hughes in his poem, A Dream Deferred. The preceding quote was the basis for the profound play, A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry. In the play, there are many themes, all of which are important. However, none is so essential, and often as passed over, as dreams. Especially during the era in which the piece was written, for a black man to pursue a dream was signing his name to hardship and ridicule. Attaining a dream was rarer yet. It could be reasonably argued that no paradigm holds as much sway on a person’s thoughts and actions – life, even – as aspirations and dreams do. Hence, understanding this novel is vitally important. Using a historical lens, one can conclude that within the novel A Raisin in the Sun race and stereotypes in correlation with dreams are themes powerfully affected by the times and history of the characters and author, Lorraine Hansberry.

Using a historical lens, A Raisin in the Sun portrays the life of average black Americans in the 1950s and explores how their race, an unchangeable feature of their existence, inhibits them from realizing their dreams. Racism was a substantial factor in the lives of African-Americans in the 1950s, yet many breakthroughs were made during this decade. There was one person in particular who spurred on the Civil Rights movement: Rosa Parks. Parks was a seamstress on her way home from work on December 1, 1955. That day she took a seat at the front of the bus. A white person then came on, and seeing no empty seats, the bus driver commanded her to stand. As the law in Alabama stated, she was obligated to give up her seat and stand, but she refused. She was eventually arrested, but he...

... middle of paper ...

...says, Book Reports | OPPapers.com. Web. 30 Jan. 2011. .

October, Early. "World War II." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 30 Jan. 2011. .

Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. New York, NY: Penguin Group, 1988. Print.

"Rosa Parks." Garden of Praise. Web. 3 Feb. 2011. .

"Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on the Net - Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott." Holidays on the Net - Holiday Celebrations, Holiday Travel, Holiday Traditions, Recipes, Crafts, EGreeting Cards. Web. 03 Feb. 2011. .

"What Makes a Good Wife - The 1950’s Ideal vs Modern Day." The Striving Wife. Web. 026 Jan. 2011. .
Open Document