This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Dreams Deferred In Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun

842 words - 3 pages

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 lips. This scene of conflict between a parent and child also portrays the nature of each woman’s deferred dream: Lena has responded to her dream with a reinvigorated trust in God, while Bennie has chosen to reject the very notion of higher powers in favor of self-determinism. To a stranger watching, it may seem to be a relatively simple conflict; however, much like the melody of a boogie, there’s much more than meets the eye (or ear), and the reality of the situation may surprise the unprepared.

We see the literal expression of a “dream boogie” in a scene that encapsulates the brother-sister dual-dreamer relationship of Beneatha and Walter Lee. After a heavy bout of drinking, Walter comes home to find Bennie dancing away to an African beat, and he joins...

Find Another Essay On Dreams Deferred in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun

1829 words - 8 pages , which “is characterized by a mixture of hope and despair.” (Nordholt) African-Americans, like normal people, had strived to achieve set goals. Unfortunately, their ethnicity was what inhibited them from accomplishing their dreams. In Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, the author conveys the theme of the seemingly trivial efforts of the African-American people in their individual pursuits for a satisfactory life lead each person down a

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

732 words - 3 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

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

693 words - 3 pages A Raisin in the Sun In A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry portrays obstacles that the Younger family and other African Americans had to face and over come during the post World War 2 era. Obstacles that had to be over come by the Youngers were economical, moral, social, and racist obstacles. Lorraine Hansberry, the author of the play had to face one of these as well growing up. Born in Chicago on the

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

817 words - 3 pages Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun In the play, A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, one of the most important themes is the American Dream. Many of the characters in this play have hopes and aspirations; they all strive towards their goals throughout the play. However, many of the characters in the play have different dreams that clash with each other. Problems seem to arise when different people’s dreams conflict with one

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun - 971 words

971 words - 4 pages A Raisin in the Sun A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, illustrates the timeless struggle for the furtherance of family values and morals with extreme clarity. The play follows the life of a small black family’s struggle to keep their dreams from tenants to owners alive. These dreams, and the struggles necessary to reach them, as well as coming to terms with the dreams that are out of reach, are the focus and driving force behind

Lorraine Hansbury's A Raisin in the Sun

2390 words - 10 pages Walter stands up to Mr. Lindner and tells him that his family is going to continue with the purchase of their home. Money can be a very powerful tool when presented to a struggling family. It can destroy a family’s bonds or it can help them to keep hope, and their dreams alive. Works Cited Hansberry, Lorraine. “A Raisin in the Sun.” The Norton Introduction to Literature. Kelly J. Mays. W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun - 3913 words

3913 words - 16 pages Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun A dream deferred is a dream put off to another time, much like this essay. But unlike dreams sometimes, this essay will get fulfilled and done with. Each character from A Raisin in the Sun had a deferred dream, even little Travis although his dream was not directly stated.      Their dreams become dried up like a raisin in the sun. Not just dreams are dried up though; Walter Lee and Ruth’s

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun - 1183 words

1183 words - 5 pages Lorraine Hansberry’s novel, A Raisin in the Sun, revolves around a middle-class African-American family, struggling during World War II. By reading about the Younger’s true to life experiences, one learns many important life lessons. One of the aforementioned would be that a person should always put family’s needs before their own. There are many examples of this throughout the novel. Just a few of these would be the example of Ruth and her

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun - 920 words

920 words - 4 pages A Raisin in the Sun Throughout the play, A Raisin in the Sun, the character Beneatha talks about finding her identity. The concept of assimilation becomes very important to the Younger family. Neither of the members of the Younger family wanted to assimilate into mainstream America, they just want to live comfortably. The Youngers are an African American family living on the south side of Chicago in the 1950s. They were living during an era

Dreams in A Raisin in the Sun

994 words - 4 pages Demi Munnik48898821Assignment 2 - Eng 2603Dreams in A Raisin in the Sun "What happens to a dream deferred?" Langston Hughes asks in his 1959 poem "Dream Deferred." He suggests that it might "dry up like a raisin in the sun" (ll. 2-3) or "stink like rotten meat" (l. 6); however, at the end of the poem, Hughes offers another alternative by asking, "Or does it explode?" (l. 11). This is the view Lorraine Hansberry supports in her 1959 play A Raisin

Dreams in A Raisin in the Sun

994 words - 4 pages Demi Munnik48898821Assignment 2 - Eng 2603Dreams in A Raisin in the Sun "What happens to a dream deferred?" Langston Hughes asks in his 1959 poem "Dream Deferred." He suggests that it might "dry up like a raisin in the sun" (ll. 2-3) or "stink like rotten meat" (l. 6); however, at the end of the poem, Hughes offers another alternative by asking, "Or does it explode?" (l. 11). This is the view Lorraine Hansberry supports in her 1959 play A Raisin

Similar Essays

Dreams Deferred In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

930 words - 4 pages      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

Summary Of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun

1191 words - 5 pages Story Map Title: A Raisin in the Sun Setting: Chicago’s South Side sometime between World War II and the 1950s. More specifically, the play centers on the five living relatives of the Younger family after the death of the father – “Big Walter Lee” Younger. The location in which the entirety of the drama unfolds is in the Younger’s compact, but increasingly uncom-fortable two-bedroom apartment (although in the 1961 screenplay some

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun Dreams And Racism

1894 words - 8 pages Dreams and Racism in A Raisin In The Sun At most times, the American Dream resembles an ideological puzzle more than a fully realizable image. Within the confines of her fantastical, theatrical world Lorraine Hansberry attempts to fit a few of these pieces together and, in the process, ends up showing exactly how everything doesn't just snap-together all nicely. The problems in her play, A Raisin In The Sun, deal primarily with the basic

Success Of A Family: Aspirations & Motives Of The Younger Family In Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun

1562 words - 6 pages Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun revolves around a short but difficult period in the lives of the Younger family. Each family member has dreams of a higher quality of life; free from the pressures of poverty and the literal confines of an outgrown and decrepit apartment. Ultimately, the ambitions of each Younger are inspired by dreams of a better life for the family as a whole. Though each Younger approaches this goal differently, they