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

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun Dignity And The American Dream

1261 words - 5 pages

Dignity and the American Dream in A Raisin in the Sun

    The American Dream, although different for each of us, is what we all aspire to achieve. In Lorraine Hansberry's, play, A Raisin in the Sun, each member of the Younger family desperately hopes for their own opportunity to achieve the American Dream. The American Dream to the Younger family is to own a home, but beyond that, to Walter Younger, it is to be accepted by white society.

 

In the book entitled " Advertising the American Dream", Roland Marchand refers to the American Dream as the belief that "if you work hard and play by the rules, then you will achieve your goals" (Marchand 1). In the play, Walter Lee Younger does not do either one of these things. Walter doesn't show up for work regularly and he certainly has no intentions of playing by the rules to get a business licenses.

 

Walter Lee is a man stuck in a dead end job that he sees as demeaning and he becomes desperate to free himself from the bonds of poverty, oppression and racial discrimination. Walter Lee feels that with money he can change the hegemony's view of him as a poor, stupid, black servant. The hegemony's social construction of reality about blacks as being lesser and the hegemony's ethnocentric perception of being superior, is corroborated in an article titled "The Colour Bar of Beauty" from The Peak. Cristina Rodrigues, a member of the black cultural and social activist group Olodum, says " In Brazil, nobody wants to be black because the mass media equates black with poor and stupid" (Aujla 2).

 

Walter has a loving relationship with his family members, but he also has a relationship that frustrates him. Walter's family frustrations are brought on by society's lack of socioeconomic advantages for "other" and Walter's inability to acculturate and achieve a better life for his family. Unconsciously, Walter's American Dream is to assimilate into the mainstream and become a part of the affluent hegemony.

 

Walter's frustration festers and his anger turns inward towards his family who, in Walters eyes, do not understand him. Walter's family members do understand him and they also want to amass material dreams, but Walter's family members know that it is going to take work to get there.

 

Walter begins to drink, stay away from home, and to constantly argue with his wife, Ruth. Walter's life is contrasted by the role of his recently widowed mother, who holds to more traditional values of acceptance of life's lot and of making the best of any situation. Walter Lee's "Mama" holds Walter's father up as an example of a man with pride and a man that, despite racial injustice in a dualistic society, worked hard to provide for his family. This adds to Walter's frustration. Walter now feels incapable and small in his mama's eyes.

 

Mama's inheritance of ten thousand dollars left by her deceased husband provides fodder for conflict in the family. Each of the family members,...

Find Another Essay On Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun - Dignity and the American Dream

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

732 words - 3 pages , shelter, and family.      Throughout the play A Raisin In The Sun, Lorraine Hansberry uses many different themes as they relate to all of the characters in more ways than one. Whether it is Walter’s dream for a liquor store, Beneatha’s dream to go to Medical School, the prejudice of whites against blacks in Clybourne Park, and how a family can overcome all that’s bad for all that’s good. All in all, the Younger’s were a lucky family, They were a family and that’s what is special

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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 Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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

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

The American Dream in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

2733 words - 11 pages possessions are what it takes to be happy. The American dream is to be rich. A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry, and Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Miller, both address the American Dream. Both plays discuss the desire for wealth and how the desire may lead to one’s downfall. However, each play is very different in addressing issues such as race and feminism. A Raisin in the Sun and Death of a Salesman have the same

The American Dream In John Steinbeck's novel "Of Mice and Men" and Lorraine Hansberry's play "A Raisin in the Sun"

2472 words - 10 pages view of many authors. This dream is fueled by the hope of one day leading a happy and prosperous life in a land that, more than any other country, allows the people the chance to "write the script of their own lives". The American Dream became the idea of an individual overcoming all obstacles and beating all odds to one day be successful. This subject is the predominant theme in John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men as well as Lorraine

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

Dreams Deferred in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun

930 words - 4 pages . 149)” Their future seems uncertain and slightly dangerous, but they are optimistic and determined to make the dream a reality. Works Cited Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. New York: Samuel French Inc, 1987. Print.

Resolving Conflict and Overcoming Obstacles in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun

1351 words - 5 pages Criticisms. Detroit: Gale Research Incorporated, 1992. Hansberry, Lorraine.  A Raisin in the Sun.  New York:  Signet, 1988. May, Elaine Tyler. Homeward Bound. New York. Basic Books, 1988. Patterson, James T.  Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974. New York. Oxford University Press,1996. Wilkerson, Margaret B. "The Sighted Eyes and Feeling Heart of Lorraine Hansberry." Black American Literature Forum 17.1 (1983): 8-13.

Love and Sacrifice: Analysis of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun

1108 words - 4 pages 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

Comparing the American Dream in Miller's Death of a Salesman and Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun

3570 words - 14 pages Comparing the Destructive American Dream in Miller's Death of a Salesman and Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun America is a land of dreamers. From the time of the Spanish conquistadors coming in search of gold and everlasting youth, there has been a mystique about the land to which Amerigo Vespucci gave his name. To the Puritans who settled its northeast, it was to be the site of their “city upon a hill” (Winthrop 2). They gave their

Similar Essays

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun 817 Words

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

1829 words - 8 pages represent those who are ignorant of the fact that their dream will be deferred. This denial is the core of the concept used in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. The perception of the American Dream is one that is highly subjective, but every individual dream ends in its own deferment. During the 1960s, the African-American people were in racial situations due to their “lowered status”. They had no control over the strong beliefs in segregation

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun 693 Words

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 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