Idea of the "American Dream" in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
Since the 1930s, the idea that a family, a home, opportunity, money and security being available to everyone in the US has been the American Dream. Unfortunately, in reality this dream isnt really available to everyone, not then and not now. The idea of an American Dream is examined throughout Lorraine Hansberrys play, A Raisin in the Sun as the theme of the play surrounds itself around Langston Hughes poem, Harlem where Hughes examines if dreams shrivel and dry up like a Raisin in the Sun. Throughout the play, all the characters express their own dreams for their lives. The idea of the American dream is analyzed to the point that at the end of the play, although this dream isnt available to everyone because of racial, gender and class discrimination, the most important aspect the Youngers find out of it is the uniting of the family.
Every character in the book has their own idea of the American dream. Mama and Ruth dream of owning their own house and getting the family out of their current living situation while Beneatha dreams of getting an education, becoming a doctor and not being dependent on a man for anything. Walter, although he wants to support his family, has his dream of buying a liquor store to raise money for his family. He finds more pride in proving himself successful. Walter, although with a capitalistic way of thinking, sticks to his own dream and come off as a frustrated character throughout the play. He takes out his frustration about not having money on Ruth, You tired, aint you?...So tiredmoaning and groaning all the time, but you wouldnt do anything to help, would you? (32). At first his frustration is because of the familys financial situation, but it just grows with Ruths pregnancy.