In Langston Hughes’ poem, A Dream Deferred, Hughes wonders what happens to a dream that does not come true. He writes, “Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?” In A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, Walter shows that his deferred dream does both. Early in the play, he shares his hopes and dreams for his family and their future with his young son, Travis. He imagines that earning his fortune will cure all the shortcomings and injustices in their lives. The limitations of Walter’s aspirations for himself and his family undermine his ability to save his family. Walter’s acceptance of unjust systems, which makes one man “master” and another one “servant,” compromises the power of Walter’s dream. By showing that Walter has internalized this corrupt system, Hansberry illustrates that his dream will not bring Walter or his family happiness. In the dream, Walter sees himself as having wealth, position, and power. Walter dreams of opening a liquor store because it is “a business transaction that’s going to change our lives.” His success earns him a “plain black Chrysler”, a house of his own with a gardener named Jefferson, a devoted wife, and the ability to send his son to “all the great schools in the world!” Hansberry reveals a bitter reality embedded in Walter’s dream, which shows it is hollow. In Walter’s dream, he has become the master of his ideal realm with all the injustice that has often come with that role. He imagines he is addressed by his gardener as “Mr. Younger”, while Walter addresses him as “Jefferson,” emphasizing their difference in position. It is also notable that, though Walter asks Jefferson how he is doing, he does not wait to hear the answer. This moment suggests that Jefferson is ju... ... middle of paper ... ...ter sacrifices his pride and self-worth for some fast cash, he begins to hate himself. He must slowly come to realize that self-respect and pride are worth much more than money. It is ironic that even in his dream, Walter casts himself as the master, perpetuating a system that has been the cause of his unhappiness. Hansberry shows us the painful reality that prejudice can be so deep-seeded in our culture that even the people, who are hurt by it, like Walter, can’t see past the dangerous practices that shackle many people. It is not until later that Walter learns that money isn’t everything and equality is. He then finds the courage to confront racism and his dream to help his family is transformed so that it does not “… dry up like a raisin in the sun…” Only at the end of the play does Walter escape the fate that Langston Hughes warned about in his famous poem.
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Living in a poverty stricken area, Walter can only think about one of the many things he lacks, money. On the contrary, there are African Americans on the other side of Chicago who do have money and run large businesses. This pushes Walter to not only want to provide more for his family, but also dream big and become determined. The only way that he sees fit for him to make his dream come true and earn more
In Lorraine Hansberry's inspirational play A Raisin in the Sun, a working class African American family's life is turned upside down when death comes for their father. In this play, the main characters: Walter, Benetha, Ruth, and Mama(Lena), all dream of having a better life. Despite the living conditions that rule their lives, they each try to pursue the "American Dream." Although the "American Dream," is different for each character, by the end of the play and through many trials and tribulations; the Younger's come to realize who's dream is the most important.
In life some have it all, and some also have nothing, but what truly matters is what you do with what you have. In Lorraine Hansberry’s story, “ A Raisin In The Sun”, She guides us through the trials and tribulations of an African American family of 5 in Chicago during the 60’s. This story truly shows that with family, faith, and hard work anything is possible. Although the story was based on a family of color in the 60’s, life lessons learned within the story still pertain to todays society. The story begins with Langston Hughes poem titled “Harlem”, this Poem helps readers understand the overall setting before the first scene, leaving the audience wondering where it will lead them next. It seems as if Walter Lee is
Walter Younger is a dreamer. He dreams of owning his own business. When that dream falls apart, Walter's dream can be compared to Langston Hughes's poem "A Dream Deferred." according to arthur, “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” Langston Hughes. This quote refers to Walter dream. Like the Raisin in the Sun his dream did dry up. This shows that not all dreams come true. Walter loses all of his mama insurance money and Walter is left with a dried up dream. His deferred dream is like a sore that festers and runs from the infection. Walter's dream can be compared to a sore that festers and runs. He explode from the disappointment of his broken dreams. He drinks heavily and comes home to get verbally
One of the first ideas mentioned in this play, A Raisin In the Sun, is about money. The Younger's end up with no money because of Walter's obsession with it. When Walter decides not to take the extra money he is offered it helps prove Hansberry's theme. Her theme is that money can't buy happiness. This can be seen in Walter's actions throughout the play.
Primarily, in A Raisin in the Sun Walter is an example of one struggling to achieve their dream or desire. Walter serves as the hero and villain of the play due to the actions he takes revolving his dream. “Walter, who firmly believes in the American Dream of economic independence, wants to own his own business, and a liquor store, because he despairs over what he perceives to be his inability to support the family and to provide for his son’s future” ( __ __ ). Walter’s dream is to be sole the provider for his household and give his family a better life. He plans by doing this through a liquor store investment with the insurance money given to Mama from Big Walters death. “In the play Walter loses much of the insurance money that he planned to invest on a liquor store to a con artist” ( ___ ___ ). Walter’s decision on investing in a liquor store turns out to be a horrific choice. In the play although Walter is regretfully deceived and looked down upon as a result of the liquor store ambition, he makes up for it by at the end finally reaching his manhood. During the time of the play the husband of the family is mainly the sole provider for the family. In the case of the play, Walters mother is the sole provider for the family. Walter strives to be the “man” of the house.“A job. (Looks at her) Mama, a job? I open and close car doors all day long. I drive a man around in his limousine and I say, “Yes, sir; no, sir; very good, sir; shall I take the Drive, sir?” Mama, that ain’t no kind of job. That ain’t nothing at all. (Very quietly) Mama, I don’t know if I can make you understand” ( Hansberry , Pg.73). “Walter minimizes the position of a car driver because to him it diminishes his manhood and his sense of individual worth.
Walter has a steady, but low paying job and wishes that he could do more for his family. The money he makes hardly provides enough for his family to survive. He is constantly thinking about get rich quick schemes to insure a better life. He doesn’t want to be a poor back man all of his life and wishes that he could fit in with rich whites. He doesn’t realize that people won’t give him the same opportunities, as they would if he were white (Decker). Walter feels that he needs to provide more for his family and starts to ask around on how to make some money. He gets the idea of opening up a liquor store and has his heart set on it. Because he wants to please everybody he loses his better judgment and acts without thinking of the long-term effects. He is ready for a change and feels the store will bring his family a better life (Hyzak). “Mama, a job? I open and close car doors all day long. I drive a man around in his Limousine and say, Yes, sir; no, sir; very good sir; shall I take the drive, sir? Mama, that ain’t no kind of job ... that ain’t nothing at all” ( Hansberry 1755).
No matter how hard they try, there are some people who cannot get ahead in life. Walter Lee Younger is a man who is frustrated with his current position in life, and every disappointment he has encountered thus far. Although he tries to be a loving man, sometimes he does not know how to show the idea of love, 'Sometimes...sometimes...I don't even know how to try' (Hansberry 89). His position in life can be regarded as symbolic of every black male struggling to provide for his family by any means necessary. Although Walter has a job, it seems inadequate for his survival. As a result, he has become frustrated and lacks good judgement. Throughout this play Walter searches for the key ingredient that will make his life blissful. His frustrations stem from him not being able to act as a man and provide for his family and grasp hold of his ideals to watch them manifest into a positive situation. Walter Lee Younger, a man who is vehement for his family, has many ambitions in life, and dreams of the biggest dreams out of anyone else in the play.
Lorraine Hansberry in her play, “Raisin in the Sun”, attempted to explain the feelings of the average African American Male in the 1940s. This persona, which is portrayed in the character Walter, had experienced a severe feeling of depression and hopelessness. In order to understand this source of grievance, one must relate back to the Great Migration and the dreams it promised and the reasons why many African Americans sought to move to the North. A desire to achieve freedom from racial injustices and poverty was the prime factor that encouraged Blacks to abandon the south. However, these dreams where soon crushed as African American noticed that Northern whites had still maintained unequal segregation and where as stumbling block to Black advancement. The consequences of a “dream deferred”, as Langston Hughes called it, was dependency on others, alcohol addiction, as well as dysfunctional families.
Lorraine Hansberry herself clarified it when she spoke about the play. She states, “We cannot…very well succumb to monetary values and know the survival of certain aspects of man which must remain if we are loom larger than other creatures on the planet….Our people fight daily and magnificently for a more comfortable material base for their lives; they sacrifice for clean homes, decent foods, and personal and group dignity”. (Lester 417). Hansberry used Walter Lee to stand for that exact representation. Many African American men in the 1950’s and the 1960’s suffered pride and personal crisis issues because of the incapability to support and provide his family with the minimum of their basic needs. Walter Lee incriminated himself and his family for what he sees as his personal failure. (Lester 417). During the meeting with Mr. Linder the family, with the exclusion of Mama and Travis, stated that they was not interested in the offer of selling the house back to the welcoming committee of the neighborhood. This showed that the family stood firm for their moral values (dignity) that they share as a collective unit. Then something switch; Walter recklessly invested the family insurance money on a shaky liquor business startup. Feeling that all hope is lost and that his way of changing the family way of life is out of reach, he despairingly call Mr. Linder and
The dreams of Walter, Beneatha, and Mama in Lorraine Hansberry’s "A Raisin in the Sun", may take longer than expected, change form, or fade. Even if dreams seem to never get closer, one should never give up. Without something to work towards, society would just dry up, like a grape in the sun.
Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun is a play about segregation, triumph, and coping with personal tragedy. Set in Southside Chicago, A Raisin in the Sun focuses on the individual dreams of the Younger family and their personal achievement. The Younger's are an African American family besieged by poverty, personal desires, and the ultimate struggle against the hateful ugliness of racism. Lena Younger, Mama, is the protagonist of the story and the eldest Younger. She dreams of many freedoms, freedom to garden, freedom to raise a societal-viewed equal family, and freedom to live liberated of segregation. Next in succession is Beneatha Younger, Mama's daughter, assimilationist, and one who dreams of aiding people by breaking down barriers to become an African American female doctor. Lastly, is Walter Lee Younger, son of Mama and husband of Ruth. Walter dreams of economic prosperity and desires to become a flourishing businessman. Over the course of Walter's life many things contributed to his desire to become a businessman. First and foremost, Walter's father had a philosophy that no man should have to do labor for another man. Being that Walter Lee was a chauffeur, Big Walter?s philosophy is completely contradicted. Also, in Walter?s past, he had the opportunity to go into the Laundromat business which he chose against. In the long run, he saw this choice was fiscally irresponsible this choice was. In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, Walter Lee's dreams, which are his sole focus, lead to impaired judgement and a means to mend his shattered life.
Hansberry starts the play with a family with frustrated dreams. These dreams mostly involve money. Although the Younger family seems turnoff from the middle-class white culture they want to obtain the same materialistic dreams as the rest of American society. The America Dream is for everyone, as Hughes state in his poem “Let America be America again. Let it be the dream it used to be. Let it be the pioneer on the plain seeking a home where he himself is free”. Is like Hughes is saying let the Younger be able to fulfill their dreams, even though they are not middle-class people. Let them have the freedom to get want they desire. Which indeed is possible for the Younger to obtain if they stay thinking positive and in
Lauren Oliver once said, “I guess that’s just part of loving people: You have to give things up. Sometimes you even have to give them up” (Good Reads). This quote connects very well to the play, A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry. The quote conveys the message that if one loves someone, one must give things up. A Raisin in the Sun is about an African-American family living in the south side of Chicago in the 1950s. The Younger family is a lower-class family that has been struggling to make their dreams come true. One of the character’s in the play named Walter Lee has been struggling to make his dreams come true. Walter’s changes that are shown tie to the quote written by Lauren Oliver. The changes that are seen in Walter Lee throughout the book, A Raisin in the Sun, reflects the theme that one must sacrifice something for the love and happiness of one’s family.
This episode illustrates a major conflict throughout the story. As Walter dreams bigger and bigger he seems to leave the 'smaller' things such as his family behind. This movement away from the family is against the furtherance of the values and morals of the family. While his father would have been happy simply working and caring for his family, Walter is more concerned with becoming a 'mover and shaker' without thinking about the resulting consequences for his family.