The Sun By Lorraine Hansberry Essay

The Sun By Lorraine Hansberry Essay

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Common among millions of Americans, poverty is an ongoing issue both in real life and for the characters in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. Destitution means not having enough money to support oneself and family, which often times indicates a shortage of necessary items such as food, clothing and shelter. Living in Beachwood, I have not had many direct experiences with poverty and most incidences I have had have been through charity work, meaning the neediness was being supported by an organization or group. However, one time I witnessed true destitution was in New York City. While walking along the streets of Times Square, a few friends and I came across a poor man holding a dismal box and pleading for money. He shook the container as we walked by and told us that we would be blessed and have bright futures if we gave him even a minor donation. We each took out some spare change, put it in the box, talked to the man for a few minutes and walked away, not worrying about the money we had just spent. To us, the encounter did not mean much --there are beggars on every street corner of New York-- but to the man the money meant so much more. What we had put into the box was not the same as what he took out of it. For him, the currency was a meal, or possibly a new article of clothing; to him, the money meant that he had successfully survived another day of poverty. Though the characters in A Raisin in the Sun do not spend their days asking others for money, they too live in this world of destitution. From their dingy apartment with a shared outdoor bathroom, to the jobs that they are forced to take in order to support themselves, the Youngers experience poverty in many ways on a daily basis. Each character, however, responds...


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...s it 's going to destroy my boy" (106). Ruth 's impression of the American Dream builds off of Mama 's, but she furthers the idea by yearning for a happy family in addition to home. She, like Mama, wishes for something highly important and yet so simple, but because Ruth does not have the best relationship with her husband, this is what she wants most. In Walter 's case, the American Dream is to be a man capable of supporting his family, though he becomes caught up in the money required to do so. Throughout the play, Walter searches persistently for a way to obtain wealth, blind to the fact that money does not always equate to success. Nonetheless, Walter 's true goal and eventual success at masculinity, show readers that "those who see the changes-- who dream, who will not give up" should be known as the realists, in place of those who are too afraid to hope (134).

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