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A Raisin in the Sun: Poem of Insecurities Essay

The dreams of the characters in the Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry illustrated the theme of Langston Hughes poem. Lena, Walter, Ruth, and Beneatha all lived under the same roof, but their aspirations were all different. Being the head of the house, Lena just wanted her children to live the lives they imagined for themselves. Walter’s dream was to invest his mother’s money in a liquor store and to create a better life for his son Travis. Beneatha in the other hand wants to use her mother’s money to become a doctor when she got out of college and Ruth wants to be wealthy. A Raisin in the Sun was a book about “dreams deferred” and in this book Loraine Hansberry fluently described the dreams of the Younger Family and how their dreams became a destructive weapon on their family.

Lena Younger, Walter and Beneatha’s mother was a widow who devoted her life to her children after her husband died. When she retired she was waiting for her husband’s insurance money to arrive. With the ten thousand dollars in her hand, Lena decided to buy a 3500 dollar house at Clybourne Park and she was also going to put some money in the bank for Beneatha so she could go to medical school. Those were her dreams, they were so simple and ordinary and also beautiful. She expected everyone to be delighted and surprised of the things she had done with the check and indeed they were, except for Walter.

While Lena got her pie in the sky, Walter was upset his mother had spent the insurance money on the house and thought it wasn’t fair that Beneatha got some of it for her medical school while he got nothing for his liquor store business. Walter always discussed his dream thoroughly to his family and talked about how it would make their lives different, but Lena, who always wanted her son to be happy, trustingly gave the rest of the insurance money to Walter. Holding the money in his hands, Walter thanked his mother and appreciated the trust she had in him. Walter then gave the money to his buddies so that they could get him the liquor license without realizing that they betrayed him.

This is how a dream can become destructive for others. As his dream crumbled into pieces, he began to regret that he didn’t listen to his mother, wife, and sister. He not only destroyed Beneatha and his dream but Ruth’s as well. Ruth was pregnant during his moment in despair and forgave and encouraged him to start everything over. Ruth, whose dream was to be wealthy and to have a fine family, calmly accepted the fact that her dream was only a dream. To her, it was a consolation that her husband had come back to reality after his unsuccessful dream. It is not essential to keep a dream alive, reason why is because if you don’t accomplish your reverie you’ll spend your whole life complaining about it. Ruth was not about to do that, she sucked it up and forgave Walter.

Beneatha was upset to hear that Walter didn’t put anything in the bank for her medical school. Sad and depressed that the reality turned out differently from her dream, Beneatha gave up hope of becoming a doctor. Fortunately, her friend Asagai kept her dream alive and convinced her that there was still hope and ream in the world and that she should forget about the money because if her father did not die then she would have never gotten the chance. So Beneatha went with Asagai to his homeland, Nigeria, to practice her medical career.

Conclusively, the family forgot their despair and moved to the new house for a new life. Although they knew it was tough to start everything over, but for them, it was as if their lives had just begun. Lorraine Hansberry had successfully illustrated the four main characters in the story as human beings with desires, dreams, aspirations, conflict, foibles, and strength. And it was “A Raisin in the Sun” that expressed those dreams and desires and how they ended up as “dreams deferred.”


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