The Myth of the American Dream

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THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN DREAM A Raisin in the Sun is a play written by Lorraine Hansberry in the period following the Second World War. It is divided into three acts and explores the circumstances of the Younger family, a colored family living in the ghettos of southern Chicago. In particular, the play deals with the efforts of Walter Lee, the scion of the family to bring his family out of poverty and into riches by entering into a business venture. The play highlights the psychological and societal barriers to Walter's goal of becoming rich like the white people he sees around him. In effect, Walter's ambitions typify the American dream and the play discusses how the American dream is only a myth against the reality of financial inequality, racial prejudice and constricted social mobility. A Raisin in the Sun does not illustrate that the American dream consisting of material well-being in the form of wealth, educational and economic opportunity, and religious and social freedom is not available to everyone. In fact, the play shows that the American dream is for anybody's taking, provided that they are willing to pay the price. The play reveals the price that the Younger family needs to pay for getting the prosperous future promised in the American dream. But it is not easy for them to pay the price for it because it goes against their values and their pride that is a defining characteristic of their culture and family. Mama is the matriarch of the family and
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