A Raisin in the Sun Essay: Importance of Deferred Dreams
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Importance of Deferred Dreams in A Raisin in the Sun
A dream is a hope, a wish, and an aspiration. Young people have dreams about what they want to be when they grow up. Parents have dreams for their children's future. Not all of these dreams come true at the desired moment - these dreams are postponed or "deferred". A deferred dream is put on the "back burner of life"(Jemie 219), and it matures to its full potential, and is waiting when you are "ready to pursue it"(Jemie 219). It is assumed that the deferred event, though later than hoped for, will eventually come true.
Deferred dreams are a significant component of "A Raisin in the Sun"; the word "dream" is used a total of fourteen times throughout the play. Mama,…show more content…
Walter is furious with Mama for "butchering up his dream" (Hansberry) and when she entrusts him with the money leftover from the down payment, he is irresponsible and losses it. The white residents of Clybourne Park also attempt to defer the dream. Mr. Lindner, a representative of the residents, even offers to buy back their house for more money than they put down. Tempting, but no thanks! Her dream of home ownership seems to be dead until Mama, Ruth, Beneatha and Walter cooperate to achieve to goal. The goal even shifts slight to encompass standing up for themselves by moving into an all-white neighborhood. Even Walter does his part by refusing Mr. Lindner's offer of money.
Langston Hughes, author of the poem, Dream Deferred, made the most quoted observations on deferred dreams. Hughes was the first to ask the question: "What happens to a dream deferred"? "All African-Americans have had a dream deferred"(Wintz 179). Their dream was for the abolishment of segregation and the outlaw of discrimination. Slavery had come to an end with the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, "but one hundred years later,...the Negro is still not free" (King). "America has defaulted on this promissory note" (King). But the African- Americans refused to accept the "bad check" (King). Martin Luther King, Jr. conveyed the "urgency" (King) of the situation that had been sizzling
Dreams Deferred In Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun
Lorraine Hansberry’s classic play, A Raisin in the Sun, culls its title from the infamous poem “Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes, and both works discuss what happens to a person when their dreams -- their hopes, their aspirations, their lives -- are endlessly put on hold. For this analysis of the dreams and character of Beneatha Younger in Raisin, I would like to pull on another dreamy poem of Langston Hughes’ entitled “Dream Boogie.” Like all the characters in the play, Beneatha has dreams that are dear to her, but their deferment does not cause them to dry up, fester, rot, crust, sag, or explode. Rather, the deferment of Bennie’s dreams expresses itself in her “dream boogie”: in her sarcastic, biting wit and her life perspective that to the outside world might seem a bit naive or cutesy, in much the same way that jazz is described in “Dream Boogie”. Through Beneatha’s relationships and interactions with her mother, Walter Lee, and Asagai, we see the effects of the deferment of a dream on Bennie, and the peculiar rhythm of her boogie.
The mother-daughter relationship between Beneatha Younger and Lena Younger is one that, at first blush, appears to be the typical struggle between a defiant daughter and her older, wiser mother. However, when we look deeper, we see the deferred dreams of both women come through. One morning after breakfast, Bennie admits to her mother that “I don’t believe in God. I don’t even think about it . . . I get tired of Him getting credit for all the things the human race achieves through its own stubborn effort.” (51) This brash statement is immediately followed by some slapping action on the part of the mother, who is naturally horrified at the blasphemous things coming from her offspring’s tender lips. This scene of conflict between a parent and child also portrays the nature of each woman’s deferred dream: Lena has responded to her dream with a reinvigorated trust in God, while Bennie has chosen to reject the very notion of higher powers in favor of self-determinism. To a stranger watching, it may seem to be a relatively simple conflict; however, much like the melody of a boogie, there’s much more than meets the eye (or ear), and the reality of the situation may surprise the unprepared.
We see the literal expression of a “dream boogie” in a scene that encapsulates the brother-sister dual-dreamer relationship of Beneatha and Walter Lee. After a heavy bout of drinking, Walter comes home to find Bennie dancing away to an African beat, and he joins...
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