Teen Review: A Raisin in the Sun

A RAISIN IN THE SUN by Lorraine Hansberry

An unreached dream can be compared to a grape left on the vine. Both start out juicy, plump, and desirable. A dream that is put off can become bitter-sweet, unapproachable, and stationary; just as a grape will eventually become shriveled, leathery-skinned, and small; a raisin in the sun, just like the title of Lorraine Hansberry’s realistic and glimpsing story, about an African American family in the 1950s, who live lives full of unreached dreams.
The Younger family consists of Walter; married to Ruth and their ten year old son, Travis. Also living in the same small apartment are Walters’s mother, Lena, and his sister, Beaneatha. Walter has a dream of being a rich business man, and is discontented with his career of being a chauffeur, as he drives wealthy men to their appointments. Walter lets himself get upset because he isn’t rich and does not work along side those men, but Ruth tries to remind Walter that his blessings should take precedence. Walter continues to crave wealth and is offered a partnership with 2 friends to own a liquor store; He starts dreaming of having an abundant fortune and how it would improve his family’s life and his own life. The only problem is that he has to invest thousands of dollars to buy the store, and he fails to recognize that one of his business partners is planning on stealing the money from him. Walter gets so manipulated and influenced that he never realizes his partner’s desperation, until after he gives the money and is robbed in return.
Walters’s sister Beaneatha has a different goal; she dreames of becoming a doctor. She begins college, and startes taking every opportunity to study or learn more about the world of medicine, so she could achieve her dream. Her life seemed great when it came to school, but her love life was the true problem; she has fallen in love with a Nigerian student, Joseph Asagai. He has fallen in love with her as well and wishes to marry her. Beaneatha begins to feel as if she has to choose either love or her career, because Asagai is moving back to Africa after he graduates. She never once realizes that she could accomplish both dreams; of being married to the man she loves, and being a great doctor. Asagai loves Beaneatha and tells her that he wishes for her to move with him to Nigeria, to marry him, and then join him as a doctor for his tribe in Africa. Beaneatha agrees the plan is perfect and happily agrees to become Joseph Asagai’s wife.
Lena Younger; the mother of Walter and Beaneatha, also has a simple dream. She wants her family to be happy. From the moment she realizes her children were not happy she began thinking of a way that she could solve their problems and dilemmas. She tries to teach them things she knows, and to scold them when they make mistakes, but the response is unfavorable; both Walter and Beaneatha are insulted for being treated like children. Lena feels as if there is nothing she can do, but she tries one last thing. She comes home one night and announces that she has bought a house for the family. The spontaneous act causes the family to come together in celebration; but it soon becomes disastrous when a white man from the Younger’s new neighborhood, informs the family that they were not welcome to live in the new house. The man tells them that the neighborhood was not pleased an African American family was going to move there. It might seem that this news would make the family upset or give up hope; but they do the exact opposite. The family come together and decided to move to their new house.
When Walter forgot money, fortune and becoming a businessman, Beaneatha figured out a combining plan for her dream of being a doctor; and her wish to marry Joseph Asagai; and Lena made the unsystematic choice to buy a house for her family. It caused the whole Younger family to become closer, happier, and smarter. The Youngers’ begin weak, because they don’t help each other, and all get caught up in their own world. But as soon as they came together and decided to move they are stronger, and emphatic. The book A Raisin in the Sun exemplifies that no matter how a dream is achieved; the accumulation of knowledge and finding allies along the way will always create better times.

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