Since the 1950s, the American Dream was something that all Americans aspired toward. Unfortunately, this dream, as elusive as it is, is not as achievable as one might think. The American Dream was shown throughout the play, “A Raisin in the Sun,” complimented by Langston Hughes’ poem “Harlem.
” Throughout the play, the characters express their aspirations toward a better future. The idea of the American dream is analyzed when the characters came to the realization that, due to discrimination, the American dream was not easily achievable. As intended, the most important aspect of the Youngers’ overall goal was finding out if the uniting of their family was as necessary as they had previously believed. Mama dreams of owning her own house and getting the family out of living on the South Side of Chicago; so her husband’s late nights, hard work and tired eyes didn’t go unnoticed. Beneatha dreams of becoming more educated with the final goal of becoming a doctor. She wishes to challenge the stereotype that women should just be house wives who raise children. As for Walter, his dream of purchasing a liquor store was all to raise money for himself and his family out of consideration. He wants to show his mother that her husband didn’t die in vain.
Walter expresses his frustration about money on Ruth, “You tired, ain’t you? So tired, moaning and groaning all the time, but you wouldn’t do anything to help, would you?” (32). His frustration is because of the family’s financial situation, but also the fact that no one thinks he can make a name for himself. Eventually, he realizes that the liquor store dream isn’t possible because his “friend” runs away with the money he was going to put down. Walter learns that home is the goal because not only will it make his mother happy but will also create a better world for his son to live in. On a different note, is the American dream now about getting an education? During the 1930’s, not only was it rare for a woman to go to medical school, it was rare to see a woman getting educated at all, let alone an African-American woman. Beneatha had undergone many hardships in the pursuance of her dream; she consistently faced discrimination like many others because of her race, class and especially her gender. Even with hard work and persistence, it still would have been inconceivable for someone like her to become that which she dreamt of being. Beneatha, in addition to all this hardship, has to deal with the disapproval of her own family as well as society.
Walter continuously belittles her dreams and quotes that “she should just get married and be quiet “(38). Walter, along with society at that time, believed that a woman’s place was to stay at home and do the work that women were stereotypically supposed to do. Overall, this story consists of a central theme, the American Dream, though this is subset with the discrimination of many.