The American Dream in A Raisin in the Sun

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A Raisin in the Sun is a play that explores the idea of the American Dream, specifically how each character in the play has their own idea of what constitutes a better life. Walter is the central character of the play, and his ambition is to provide for his family by owning a liquor store. However, he loses much of the insurance money intended for the investment to a con artist, which leads to regret and disappointment. Despite this setback, Walter eventually finds redemption by reaching his manhood and understanding the importance of family. The play also examines the role of the husband in a family, and how Walter struggles to fulfill this role due to his inability to provide for his family.

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A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry, explores the concept of the American Dream. Each main character in the play has their own unique vision of a better life. Despite the challenges they face, the play emphasizes the significance of holding onto one’s dreams. Walter, in particular, serves as an illustration of someone who strives to achieve their aspirations amidst adversity.

Both the protagonist and antagonist in the play, Walter embodies his faith in the American Dream through his actions centered around owning a liquor store. His strong desire for financial independence stems from wanting to provide for his family’s future. This desperation arises from his belief that he is unable to support his family and secure a better future for his son.

In order to pursue this dream, Walter plans to use the insurance money Mama received after Big Walter’s death to invest in a liquor store. His goal is to become the sole provider for his household and give them a better life.

Unfortunately, Walter faces obstacles along the way as he becomes a victim of a swindler who causes him to lose a significant portion of the insurance funds intended for investment in the liquor store.

Walter’s investment in a liquor store proves to be a terrible mistake and leads to him being deceived and judged. However, he redeems himself by ultimately embracing his manhood. In the play, the husband is typically responsible for financially supporting the family, but in this case, Walter’s mother takes on that role.

Walter desires to be the head of the household. He expresses his discontent with his current occupation as a car driver, stating that it does not reflect his masculinity or his personal value. Walter believes that being a car driver undermines his sense of self and worth.

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The American Dream in A Raisin in the Sun. (2018, Feb 03). Retrieved from

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