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Dreams of Characters in A Raisin In The Sun Essay


A Raisin in the Sun

A Raisin in the Sun is very relatable with people in todays society and also my own life. All of the characters in A Raisin in the Sun have unfulfilled dreams. These dreams mostly involve money. Although the Younger family seems alienated from white middle-class culture, they have the same materialistic dreams as the rest of American society. In the 1950s, the stereotypical American dream was to have a house with a yard, a big car, and a happy family. The Youngers also seem to want to live this dream, though their struggle to attain any impression of it is significantly different from the struggle a similar suburban family might encounter, because the Youngers are not a stereotypical middle-class family. Rather, they live in a world in which being middle class is also a dream. As a young adult, I feel that I can relate to all of the characters idea of life.

Mamas plant symbolizes her version of this dream, because she cares for it as she cares for her family. She tries to give the plant enough light and water not only to grow but also to flourish and become beautiful, just as she attempts to provide for her family with financial support. Mama also imagines a garden that she can tend along with her dream house. The small potted plant acts as a temporary stand-in for her much larger dream. Her relentless care for the plant represents her protection of her dream. Despite her cramped living situation and the lifetime of hard work that she has endured, she maintains her focus on her dream, which helps her to persevere. Still, no matter how much Mama works, the plant remains weak, because there is so little light. Similarly, it is difficult for her to care for her family as much as she wants and to have her family members grow as much as she wants. Her dream of a house and a better life for her family remains questionable because it is so hard for her to see beyond her familys present situation. I feel that Mamas situation is very common in America today because of the economy and it being harder to find jobs. This can be very discouraging for young adults, such as college students, because they feel as if they have no hope in finding a career when they are completed with their higher education of schooling in which they were expected to be well off with.

Beneathas dream differs from Mamas in that it is, in many ways, self-serving. In her desires to express herself and to become a doctor, Beneatha proves an early feminist who radically views her role as self-oriented and not family-oriented. She not only wants to have a career but also desires to find her identity and pursue an independent career without relying solely on a man. I feel that Beneatha also relates to young adults because there is a constant thought about trying to figure out who you are and your identity. It can be very frustrating, and sometimes makes you more self-oriented as you are becoming older and more independent.

Though Walter and Ruth harbor materialistic dreams, they desire wealth not solely for self-serving purposes but rather as a means to provide for their family and escape the South Side ghetto in which they live. The tension brought on by issues of money and manhood comes sharply into focus when Travis asks for fifty cents. Ruth, the household manager, refuses to give her son the money; Walter, as a father trying to safeguard his sons ability to be accepted, gives Travis twice as much as he asks for. Walter does so knowing that he faces the emasculating task of having to ask Ruth for money himself as a result. As the two talk about their entrapping situation, Ruths reply of at your eggs answers every statement that Walter offers, reflecting the stereotypical perception that blacks have an inability to overcome problems. I feel that my family relates mostly with Walter and Ruths idea of life because they see that it is important to be able to provide for your family. My dad grew up with hardly any money and support from his parents, but with his perseverance, he has worked hard to become a doctor and is easily able to provide for our family just like anyone would desire in life. This relates to Walter and Ruth because my dad had to start from scratch with his life and work his way up to eventually conquer his dream of becoming a doctor.

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