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A dream is something hoped for or longed for. Further, a dream can also be an ambition or an aspiration by a person(s) for something. Strindberg August said, "I dream, therefore I exist." This is what separates humankind from any other living creature. Instead of being limited only in the present and within confines of basic endurance, we confront the future. People either marches for advancement and achievement, or fears and questions what lies ahead. At all times, we imagine and reshape what reality should hold. Secret hopes and wishes in our mind constantly bombard us.
At a simple level, Martin Luther held a dream. He desired a just, fair, and a safe future for everyone. Yet in that craving, he embodied the African American people desire to cut the chains of discrimination. In speaking for his people, he addressed the state of America and its values of freedom. It was a big, grand and a noble dream.
We all dream about things that are or currently distant or far removed from the present situations. Indeed, A Raisin in the Sun is an epic chronicle of the plight of the Younger's family in their struggle to realize a dream of a better life and escape from poverty. It is also a true account of disappointment, false hopes and despair many African American families endured in their pursuit of The American dream. A dream that was distant and constantly elusive. Exploitation, poverty, frustration and discrimination are key hindrances identified in the text that slow down individual efforts in the play to attain The American Dream. That is; the promise of possibility, prosperity and success where life is fuller, better, richer and where opportunities for everyone regardless of social class and circumstances of birth are abundant. By working hard, the dream is and would be a reality.
Each Member of the Younger's family has his or her respective dream. Unfortunately, they go about to attain them at variance. As a result, it comes back to trouble them in the end. Most of their dreams do not come to fruition. To start with, Beneatha Dream is an idealistic woman whose dream is to be a doctor. Throughout the play, she struggles to determine her identity as a well-educated black woman. She is well-educated member of the Younger's family whose goals and energy for education and modern ideas tends to make her look down on certain traditional values. Through wisdom and knowledge, she wants to have her identity and self-fulfilment. She even dresses in Nigeria dress, dances to music of African origin and lets her hair grow naturally in an effort to become more of an African.
She also aspires to overcome not only discrimination against black but also the bigotry of the day: that as a woman, she should be pleased to study nursing or just get married. She is utterly devastated when it is discovered that Walter has invested the money that should have aided her to pursue medicine in his liquor store plan. Money that Willy disappears with. She tries to gain a better understanding of her cultural roots as an African American to deal with this. While she partly succeeds in creating her own personality, her dream of becoming a doctor fails short when Walter looses the necessary money. Lena directs Walter to save 3000 dollars for Beneatha medical schooling. She knows very well what education means to Beaneatha and she does not want to gamble with it.Beneatha takes pride in this and often shows off her intelligence to her family. Though her hope of being a physician had diminished, Lena actions lifts her enthusiasm .A chance to move into a new house adds to her renewal. It seems that Beaneatha dreams are temporarily halted. However, it is not difficult to deduce that she will attain them. After all, she is a strong, intelligent woman, prerequisites of success.
For Lena Younger, dreams are more important to her than material possessions. Her dream is to own a house with a garden and an enclosure in which Travis can amuse himself. For her, money is only a means to an end. Her hope of owning a home brings together the family and shows them that dreams are real after all. She is a solid, down to earth, hard working, strong willed, deeply religious woman and a strong believer in the strength of a family. She has dedicated her life to her children and struggles to inspire her values in them. The most poignant instant being, when she admits to Ruth that sometimes, her children scares her.This is one of those sad moments that make her personality seem truly human. She struggles to bond with her children, Beneatha and Walter. She is extremely worried about Walter's fascination with money and is totally against of Beneatha's lack of faith in God. She even goes so far as to smack Beneatha in the face when she says God does not exist. She is mostly humane and patient with her family.
Though she has her family's best interests at her heart, she attempts to control them and impose her traditional values on them that cause some conflicts. However, her nurturing personality is reflected by the way she treats her houseplant. Though it is drooping, Mama loves it unreservedly, just like her family. Her plants lack necessary resources to thrive. Rather than giving up, Mama does all she can for it and has faith that one day it will truly blossom. When she entrusts Walter with 6500 dollars from the insurance check, her faith is put to test. At first, it seems like her trust is totally misguided when Walter loses all of the money. However, her faith is brought back when Walter refuses to accept bribe from Mr Lindner in the last moment of the play. We see Mama taking pleasure in her children. Like her plant, they are far from perfect but still, there is hope for them yet.
Walter is an angry and dejected man in continuous mental confusion. He wants to support his family in a way that is both pleasing and rewarding. He wants to live the 'American Dream'' and earn his place as head of household and be financially capable of being that. With money Lena has inherited from her husband's death, Walter wants to open a liquor store. However, Lena Younger feels that the money should be put to better use to bring the family out of lack. She also does not like to see Walter drinking .She feels that he should not go out and drink for any reason. Walter has a problem respecting Beneatha dreams and being more empathetic towards his wife. The wife dislikes the friends that he hangs out with and does not support his dreams to open a liquor store.
He loves his wife Ruth though, but wishes, she would support his dreams. They have a communication problem and see things in different outlook. Ruth also has a problem with the way Walter undermines her influence when it comes to Travis. Since they have problems communicating, Walter Lee feels that their marriage is slowly ebbing away. Unfulfilled desires cause him greatest troubles. He ends up on trusting a crooked friend to handle the money and with that, Walter dreams are unfulfilled and shattered when Willy runs off with the money never to be seen. With it goes the dream if his loving, faithful wife who desires what is best for her family: A dream to move into a place with more space and sunlight.
When much desired, reasonable goals retreat further and further no matter how much the character in the play tries to attain them. It is not because necessary effort is not made. It is the nature of dreams to be elusive and often inviting to obstacles obstacles. However, hope and renewal always beckons. Travis, a pleasant bright child of 10 to 11years is a family pride and hope for the future. He symbolizes optimism and the possibility that the dreams will come through.