A Raisin in the Sun & the American Dream

The American dream in the ’50s was close to materialism. The ownership of durable goods was believed to bring delight into a household’s life. This stereotypical view governs the imagine one of the main characters in Lorraine Hansberry’s play.

The title of the play is based upon “Harlem” by Langston Hughes, a poem that raises a question about a dream that is postponed. “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? … Or does it explode?” (Rampersad, 1995, pg. 426) There are three main characters and all three of them of have dreams that have actually been lengthened for too long. A Raisin in the Sun has to do with the rocky journey they go through to get their dreams.

The Younger’s household has actually simply received a $10,000 dollar check for their dead daddy’s life insurance policy. They live in a 2 bedroom home on the black side of town in Chicago. Racial bias versus blacks in that period and a low earnings are the root of dispute in the household.

Mother, deceased Mr. Youngers widow wants to purchase a house and meet the dream she when saw with her spouse. Beneatha, Mother’s child, intends to discover her identity through looking towards real African heritage. Walter, Mom’s kid, wishes to one day become rich. He wants to replenish his marriage and offer his son with all the opportunities he never had maturing.

Walter wishes to invest cash in the liquor organisation with a few of his friends. Although the idea appalls Mama at first, she trusts and supports her child with his decision. The night before making the financial investment Walter tells his child about business deal he ready to make while tucking him into bed. He tells the little young boy that their lives will alter quickly and paints a sophisticated and brilliant photo of the future. He informs his child that when he’s seventeen years old he’ll get home and park the Chrysler in the driveway.

The garden enthusiast will greet him and when he’s inside your home he’ll kiss his spouse and come up to his sons room to see him browsing through sales brochures of the very best colleges in America. He then tells his boy that he will provide him whatever he wants. Although Walter is rather materialistic in what he desires at the core he simply wants a happy household and a boy who should have all the chances he never ever had.

During this time Mom buys a home to satisfy the dream she saw with her other half; the only one she can pay for is in a white suburban area. Mr. Lindner a man from the area comes to the Younger home trying to encourage them to not ruin the white community. He uses a great deal of money in exchange for their approval.

Meanwhile Walter looses all the money he has actually invested in the alcohol shop because I buddy has run away with it. When he looses the majority of their financial resources the entire family falls into a much deeper level of depression. At this time, Walter decides to take the money the white male needs to use. The thought of offering away their ideal vexes Mama, Walter’s sister and his wife. They detest Walter for handling his dead fathers money so easily and feel that he has lost his soul when he days we wants to be purchased out by the white Mr. Lindner.

Eventually, loosing whatever they have joins them because at the last moment Walter changes his mind about taking cash from Mr. Lindner. Walter informs him that they have actually moved into the house due to the fact that their father made it for them. He continues by stating that they don’t wish to disturb the community peace or protest for bigger causes, which they ‘d be great neighbors.

He informs Mr. Lindner that he does not desire the cash. At this minute the entire family’s spirits are raised and they take pride in the decision Walter has actually made. This act of standing by your household to attain the American dream of being successful no matter who you are and where you originate from unites them. They find out to support each other and put their families prior to their own. By owning a home, having a high morale, and the support of their family, each of them is on their method to fulfill their American dream.


Foulis, Rhona (2005, March, 14). A Raisin in the Sun. Recovered March 8, 2008, from Culture Wars Website: http://www.culturewars.org.uk/2005-01/raisin.htm

Potter, G and Struss, Joe. (2002, April, 02). Iowa State University. Recovered March 8, 2008, from ISU Play Concordances Web site: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~spires/concord.html

Rampersad, A (Ed.). (1995 ). The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.