Compare And Contrast The Ways In Which The American Dream Is Presented Through Walter Younger In Lorraine Hansberry

1711 Words Mar 28th, 2015 7 Pages
Compare and contrast the ways in which the American Dream is presented through Walter Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s ‘ A Raisin in the Sun’ and Willy Lehman in Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of the Salesman’

The American Dream is something many Americans desire. The desire to the mind – set or belief that anyone can be successful if they worked hard for what they’ve been yearning. It is considered to be a ‘perfect life’; it can be full of money, contentedness or even love. There are many divergent opinions given by people. Walter Younger from Lorraine Hansberry’s ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ and Willy Loman from Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of the Salesman’ both have their own views on the American Dream and how it can be achieved. Walter Lee Younger, a
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Walter presumes that ‘it’s always money’ and how Mama can’t use it in the right way. Walter later responds that ‘money is life,’ explaining to Mama that success is now defined by how much money one has. This conversation takes place early in the play and reveals Mama’s and Walters economic struggles. However we see a turn of events when Walter plans to accept Mr. Lindner’s offer. Walter is not concerned with the degrading implications of the business deal; it is simply a way to recover some of the lot money. However, Hansberry challenges Walter’s crude interpretation of the American Dream by forcing him to actually carry out the transaction in front of his son. Walter’s inability to deal with Mr. Linder marks a significant revision of his interpretation of the American Dream. Walter comes to a realisation that money is not everything and how family is so much more valuable. During the late 1950’s money was defined as one of the main characteristics of a man, and who that man will become. Walters dream is to obtain enough money to provide enough for his family, this dream of his suggests how his American Dream is also vanished, as money was an immense part of this dream of his. Wily Loman is the complete opposite; he fails to understand that there is so much more to becoming successful than being rich. The failure to understand this concept brought him to a sudden death. Willy is like every