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The American Dream & A Raisin In The Sun

940 words - 4 pages

A Raisin in the Sun is prefaced by the poem A Dream Deferred which talks about what may happen when a person puts off or delays the achievement of a dream and the effects of putting off the dream. Throughout the play we see the effects on the characters of their dreams and how they are put off or put through trials and tribulations to be able to reach their dream. In the Younger family each member has a goal, but when you simplify their goals they all seem to want their own version of success. This is the American Dream. The Dream may be explained as owning a home with a white picket fence and having 2 kids and a dog, but the real meaning is success. To many homeownership is success, to some it’s helping others or getting an education. No matter what each individual’s version of the dream is, the goal in the American Dream is to attain success in that area. However, the dream is not the only factor at play. Oftentimes there are complications, both internal and external, in the way of achieving the dream.
There is a contrast between Beneatha Younger and Joseph Asagai are a good example of complications within the dream and persistence in overcoming it. Asagai’s dream is to help others and improve the lives of the people in his village and in general. Joseph Asagai shows persistence in the face of adversity. He says “In my village back home it is the exceptional man… who ever sees a book at all,” this shows that his village is predominantly uneducated and difficult for people to learn to read or even have access to a book at all (Jacobus, 806). Although it is difficult to teach and improve the conditions of his village he continues to try and maintain his persistence in order to help others. Asagai tries to teach this persistence to Beneatha when she is wanting to give up. He questions her lack of persistence and says “You talk about what good is struggle, what good is anything,” he knows the value of struggle and being able to work through it to reach success and improve (Jacobus, 806). He understands that you shouldn’t give up in the face of adversity in order to be successful and he teaches this to Beneatha.
Beneatha understands that hard work gives way to success, she says “I get tired of [God] getting credit for all the things the human race achieves through its own stubborn effort” (Jacobus, 783). Beneatha knows that if she continues to put out effort she will be successful in her dream (of becoming a doctor and getting an education) but begins to doubt it when she faces adversity. When her brother loses the inheritance money that Beneatha...

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