Comparative Essay on the Relationship Between Mama in "A Raisin in the Sun" and "A Dream Deferred" by Langston Hughes.

Essay by emeraldislekidJunior High, 9th grade March 2007

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“A Dream Deferred” is a poem written by Langston Hughes that expresses the emotional outcome of a dream that is no more. The poem, and the play, can be related to what may happen if a family this day in age doesn’t have enough money to send their child to college. The child may have really wanted to grow up and go to school to become something special to them, and now their dream has been deferred until money can be found. Larraine Hansberry based her play A Raisin in the Sun on this poem, and many characters in the drama relate to it in one or more ways. Mama, a round character in A Raisin in the Sun, is a great example of the poem, “A Dream Deferred” being tied into the play by Hansberry. Mama is characterized from the poem with many dreams, heavy loads, and sweet moments that are mentioned both in “A Dream Deferred”, and in A Raisin in the Sun. Lena Younger, also known as Mama, went through rough and trying times during her life, and continues to face them during the drama.

“…Like a syrupy sweet…”, from “A Dream Deferred”, explains Mama’s compassion for her family, and connects the poem to the drama. Throughout the play, Mama does what she wants, but only if it benefits her family in some way. Miss Lena bought the house in Clybourne Park (p.91) with her family’s best interest at heart. She saw the family falling apart (p.94) and decided to take action. Not only does she buy things to show her love, Mama also says inspiring words to her family for support. “…I taught you to love…” (p.145) was a quote said by Lena Younger herself during...