1 June 2018
A Raisin In The Sun
It’s obvious from the early scenes in, “A Raisin In The Sun” that each of the main characters has an individual dream of how they can rise above the circumstances that threaten to keep them pressed down in society. In the beginning, every character was only worried about achieving his/her dream, but towards the end, they come to realize that pursuing a dream together would be more important and meaningful to them.
Mamas dream is to move her family out of the “hood” and into a beautiful house with a backyard where the children can play and she can take care of her own personal garden. She wants to move into a nice and peaceful neighborhood to keep her family together. She doesn’t want to see her family fall apart.”She went out and she bought you a house”(56). “I – I just saw my family falling apart today… just falling to pieces in front of my eyes…We couldn’t have gone on like we were today. We were going backward ‘stead of forwards – talking ’bout killing babies and wishing each other was dead…When it gets like that in life – you just got to do something different, push on out and do something bigger”(59). These quotes show that mama just wants to keep her family together and by buying a house she feels that she’ll be able to accomplish that. Mama’s dream of buying a house is the collective dream that the family ends up pursuing in the end.
Ruth’s dream is to live in a happy and peaceful family and she is ecstatic when she finds out mama wants to buy a house because she believes that it will ring her and the family one step closer to achieving that. “Honey…life doesn’t have to be like this. I mean sometimes people can do things so that things are better…You remember how we used to talk when Travis was born…about the way we were going to live…the kind of house”(54-55). This quote here shows that Ruth’s dream is to live a happy life in her own home. Her dream is similar to mamas and their dreams are the only ones that don’t change by the end of the book.
Beneatha’s dream is to become a doctor and to help anyone that’s in need. “Ain’t many girls who decide to be a doctor”(13). “That was what one person could do for another, fix him up – sew up the problem, make him all right again. That was the most marvelous thing in the world…I wanted to do that. I always thought it was the one concrete thing in the world that a human being could do. Fix up the sick, you know – and make them whole again. This was truly being God…I wanted to cure”(88). These quotes show that Beneatha’s dream is to become a doctor because she just wants to be able to help people in any way she can. We don’t know if she actually ever does become a doctor by the end of the book but it’s possible that she does.
Walter dreams of being rich and providing for his family in any way he can. He wants his family to be happy and to be able to have anything they want/need. “You wouldn’t understand yet, son, but your daddy’s gonna make a transaction…a business transaction that’s going to change our lives…That’s how come one day when you ’bout seventeen years old I’ll come home and I’ll be pretty tired, you know what I mean, after a day of conferences and secretaries getting things wrong the way they do…’cause an executive’s life is hell, man”(69-70). “Yeah. You see, this little liquor store we got in mind cost seventy-five thousand and we figured the initial investment on the place be ’bout thirty thousand, see. That be ten thousand each. Course, there’s a couple of hundreds you got to pay so’s you don’t spend your life just waiting for the clowns to let your license get approved”(11). These quotes show that Walter’s dream is to own a liquor store and to have his own business. He wants to have a high paying job so he can support his family and buy them anything they need.
Over the course of the play, the main characters start to realize that the most important dream for them as a family is to own their own house as it unites them as a family. Each one of them is therefore willing to put aside their personal dreams temporarily in order for them to pursue this dream. “We have decided to move into our house because my father—my father—he earned it for us brick by brick. We don’t want to make any trouble for anybody or fight no causes, and we will try to be good neighbors. And that’s all we got to say about that. We don’t want your money”(100). This quote shows that the family has realized what dream they will collectively pursue. They have decided that owning their own house is the most important dream that they need to achieve as a family.
In conclusion, instead of everyone pursuing their own dream, the characters in, A Raisin In The Sun realize that the most important dream for them as a family is to have their own home because it will bring them together and give them something to be proud of. It will be their most important and meaningful purchase as a family.