The American Dream And The Black American Reality

908 Words4 Pages
Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun encompasses all the ideals of the American Dream through her characters: Walter, who embodies the quest for an opportunity for prosperity, Beneatha who wants the freedom to be herself and embrace her African heritage, and Lena (Mama) who buys a home in a white neighborhood pushing the boundaries of social mobility during that time. The Youngers are in a state of poverty, because of this as suggested by Lloyd Brown “their deprivations expose the gap between the American Dream and the Black American reality” (241). However the Youngers attempt to close this gap, challenging the status quo in an effort to better themselves. The idea of American prosperity is illustrated through materialism, to own property and live comfortably. Walter is tired of being poor; he would rather be more like his boss Mr. Arnold than to be his chauffeur (1.1). Walter breaks himself down, depressed by his lack of achievement: “I’m thirty –five years old; I been married eleven years and I got a boy who sleeps in the living room and all I got to give him is stories about how rich white people live” (1.1). He has the ideas on making money; he just lacks the startup capital and the insurance check is his chance to show everyone he can do something. This is why in the beginning of the play Walter only shows excitement when there is mention of the check. Money is everything to Walter, he goes on to tell his mother that money is life (2.1). Walter sees
Open Document