Fallowing dreams with Family

August 26, 2015

Family, sometimes they support you in your dreams and sometimes motivate you by having no support in your dream. In the play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry you see how family whether they are being supportive of your american dream or not they still have a way of motivating you towards the dream.  Through the journey of going after dreams like the ones shown in the play it is easy to see how family is tied to the dreams, like two strings tied together to hold up an object, family and finding  an american dream are tied together holding up the dreamer. You see in the dreams of  Beneatha, Walter and Mamma how different their dreams are but how they relate around wanting to be secure and find themselves, even though they all have different ways of going after them and when they are all at their lowest is when they all come together as a family and find their true dreams.
The first of the three dreamers is Beneatha, who is determined not to let anyone get in the way of her american dream. Her dream however has many parts and aspects but the one you see jumping out at you when you first start reading is her drive to become a doctor. Even though being a female doctor seems outrageous because women are seen as nurses or housewives, Beneatha goes after something more and goes against what is “normal” even when ,Walter, who is her brother is against her becoming a doctor, “Who the hell told you you have to be a doctor? If you so crazy ‘bout messing ‘round with sick people—then go be a nurse like other women—or just get married and be quiet…”( P. 38), throughout the play you see him underestimate his sister because she wants to be different than other women. Even with lack of support from Beneatha’s brother Walter, Beneatha seems to always take the lack of support and turn it into motivation to following her dreams “ I’m going to be a doctor and everybody around here better understand that!” (P. 50), she takes the negativity and decides to show what she can do. Without her family Beneatha would not have the drive to follow with her dreams, she would not follow a career that is not seen as a woman's job, she would not look for herself in the world and find out who she is, most likely she would go with the flow of life and be a housewife to a rich man without the support of her family along with the negativity of her brother.
Secondly there is Walter who even though he can't see it has an american dream just like his sister Beneatha, to become successful. Walter though is not looking for himself in the world, he wants to be successful so that he has something to pass down to his son . “I have been married eleven years and I got a boy who sleeps in the livingroom -- and all I got to give him is stories about how rich white people live…” (P. 34) Walter wants more than stories to pass down to his son, he wants to pass down something he feels his son can be proud of. To follow his want to have more to pass down to his son he dreams of getting into business and investing in opening a liquor store with some people he knows, to do so he would need the ten thousand dollars Mamma is getting from an insurance check. Walter thinks no one in his family is listening to him but then Mamma gives him part of the money and tells him to set aside money for his sister's school and then can do what he wants with the rest because she knew that's what he wanted. Even though Walter thought no one was listening or believed in him they did.
Next is Mamma, and unlike Walter or Beneatha, Mamma has lived her life so her only dream is the one she had when she first got married, to live in a house. When her husband died and the insurance check came in, to her it was as if Walter was telling her to get the house that they wanted so thats what she did. Mamma when out into a “white” neighborhood and put a down payment on a house for her and her family. Everyone supported her other than Walter at first because he was upset about her not giving the money to him but he comes around. The family support get shown so brightly when a man comes over as a welcomer to the new neighborhood but then tells them that they are unwanted and offers to buy them out. The family together tells him no and to get out of their house.
Lastly, at the end of the play it is reveled that when a family is at their lowest points is when they come together and realize that the dreams they wish for have a bigger meaning and are more alike than they ever thought. Beneatha started to lose faith in being a doctor, Walter lost all the money that was left when his investment deal fell apart, and Mamma starts to think that she is going too far in trying to move into a house. Even when Walter gets to his very lowest points its his family who picks him up, when he decides to take money from Lindner who is trying to buy them out of their house because they are unwelcome in the new neighborhood its his son and family who gives him back his pride “• “…We come from people who had a lot of pride. I mean—we are very proud people. And that’s my sister over there and she’s going to be a doctor—and we are very proud-- …What I am telling you is that we called you over here to tell you that we are very proud and that this—Travis, come here. This is my son, and he makes the sixth generation our family in this country. And he have all thought about your offer … and 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 no trouble for nobody or fight no causes, and we will try to be god neighbors. And that’s all we got to say about that. We don’t want your money.” (P. 148). Walter also gives his sister back the pride of going after being a doctor, he gives Mamma back her dream of having a house and gives Ruth the love she was looking for from him. The whole family learns that their american dreams of any kind can not be done without one another and that their true dreams are to be together happy and with their pride.
So yes, all their dreams are different but at the core they are all the same, they wish to be better and have pride in their family but they couldn't find this without one another.  One lesson that can be taken away about family is one that Mamma said to Beneatha : “There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing.” (P. 145), with family there's always something to love and the time to love someone is when they are at their lowest because that is when they need it the most. Learning this is what gave the family their pride and their pride is what got them to to get past their lowest points and come to find their real american dreams together as a family.






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