The American Dream in A Raisin in the Sun

A Raisin in the Sun is a play written by Lorraine Hansberry. The primary focus of the play is the American Dream. The American Dream is one’s conception of a better life. Each of the main characters in the play has their own idea of what they consider to be a better life. A Raisin in the Sun emphasizes the importance of dreams regardless of the various oppressive struggles of life. Primarily, in A Raisin in the Sun Walter is an example of one struggling to achieve their dream or desire.

Walter serves as the hero and villain of the play due to the actions he takes revolving his dream. “Walter, who firmly believes in the American Dream of economic independence, wants to own his own business, and a liquor store, because he despairs over what he perceives to be his inability to support the family and to provide for his son’s future” . Walter’s dream is to be sole the provider for his household and give his family a better life. He plans by doing this through a liquor store investment with the insurance money given to Mama from Big Walters death. “In the play Walter loses much of the insurance money that he planned to invest on a liquor store to a con artist”.

Walter’s decision on investing in a liquor store turns out to be a horrific choice. In the play although Walter is regretfully deceived and looked down upon as a result of the liquor store ambition, he makes up for it by at the end finally reaching his manhood. During the time of the play the husband of the family is mainly the sole provider for the family. In the case of the play, Walters mother is the sole provider for the family.

Walter strives to be the “man” of the house. “A job. (Looks at her) Mama, a job? I open and close car doors all day long. I drive a man around in his limousine and I say, “Yes, sir; no, sir; very good, sir; shall I take the Drive, sir?” Mama, that ain’t no kind of job. That ain’t nothing at all. (Very quietly) Mama, I don’t know if I can make you understand” . “Walter minimizes the position of a car driver because to him it diminishes his manhood and his sense of individual worth.

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