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

Powerful Essays
Chicago served as a home to numerous walks of life in the 1950’s, and much of the differences in realities were based on differences in race and people’s opinions of segregation. Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun is based off of real life experiences, and it authentically tells the story of an african american family that strives for equality and The American Dream. Walter Younger, the father of the family, battles with deferred dreams of his own and for his family. Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun and Nina Simone’s song “I Wish I knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” both portray Walter’s emotions throughout his daily struggles with his family as they dealt with segregation and destitution. Money was a large contributor…show more content…
Walter wants to be free from the family’s low income lifestyle, and becoming rich is Walter’s extrinsic motivation to live. Mama said to Walter, “Son-how come you talk so much ‘bout money?” Walter responded with immense passion, “Because it is life, Mama!” Walter looks at life, and like a bride sees through her wedding vail, Walter sees through money lenses. He sees his father’s money as a possibility in a world that revolves around a minimal supply of money. He feels that if he cannot achieve greatness and get his family out of the slums of Chicago, then he has failed at everything. It not only concerns his family that he sees his human worth out of money, but it worries them because they are not able to trust him to be responsible and just when making decisions. While the Younger family wants to own a house and receive a stronger income, Walter is the only one who obsesses over it and allows it to alter the ways in which he treats important people in his life. Segregation caused dreams to become deferred, and weights were put onto the families during the 1950s. Due to segregation, they could not afford what white families could, and this was because they were paid less in the workforce. “How sweet it would be if I found I could fly. I 'd…show more content…
The triumph to freedom for african americans was a rigid war that lasted hundreds of years. Often times in this war, african americans were alone and were treated like foreigners in their home country. Walter’s battles with segregation and inequalities, such as receiving lower income than white families, are represented in Hansberry’s play and in Simone’s poem. It is difficult for Walter to see why other people behave in the way that they do, and he often does not respond well to disagreements between him and his family, making him feel even more alone. Walter said in an argument with his mother about her buying the house, "You run our lives like you want to. It was your money and you did what you wanted with it. So what you need for me to say it was all right for? (Bitterly, to hurt her as deeply as he knows is possible) So you butchered up a dream of mine-you-who always talking ‘bout your children’s dreams.” Due to Walter’s tone and word choice in the story, it is easy for readers to observe that Walter dedicates himself to his dream; when the dream does not turn out the way that Walter wanted it to, he becomes angry and feels as if nobody cares for what he wants in life. Walter often storms off after an argument or a conversation that did not go this way, and it is in this time that he hurts the most over the family’s financial situation and over the way that nobody else understands his position and his reasoning behind his actions. The segregation during the 1950s
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