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.
Initially, Walter?s sole focus on his dreams lead to impaired judgment. One way Walter portrays his impaired judgment is when he makes assorted empty promises. In the Yo...
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...se. Still Walter will face many more roadblocks, but perhaps his shattered life may begin to repair itself, even without financial security.
Evidently, Walter Lee?s judgment becomes significantly impaired and all because of his dreams. In the world today, people still struggle with the same problems and desire the same things Walter does. Success is a seemingly huge necessity. In the course of ones life, each person is destined to face personal conflicts and contradictions. These problems, with the ability to overcome them is truly how to achieve greatness. As Mr. Langston Hughes questions so powerfully in his poem, ?What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?? With the help of Walter Lee Younger, the answer becomes evident. Dreams never dry up? they just change.
Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. New York: Signet, 2008.
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