Dreams are whimsical. In a dream, one could be a pilot, a queen, and even have the ability to fly. Dreaming occurs during sleeping hours, but dreaming is not restricted to only sleeping hours. People dream while they are awake. Some people dream of becoming a teacher, having a family, or becoming a professional dancer. Dreams that people have when they are awake are their goals and what they want in life. The characters in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun dream and express their dreams throughout the entire play.
Dreams are very important in A Raisin in the Sun. The characters dreams and passions are what drives the play. Although the importance of family plays an important role in the Younger’s decision to move into the house in Clybourne Park, Lena Younger dream of wanting to own a house for her family is what gives her family courage to move into the neighborhood. The theme to Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun is dreams are powerful and important. Hansberry shows this through the Younger’s living room, Lena Younger’s plant, and the characters.
The first scene in A raisin in the Sun describes the Younger’s living room (Hansberry 980). The living room represents the characters pursuit of their dreams. The Younger’s living room would be, “a comfortable and well-ordered room if it were not for a number of indestructible contradictions to this [it’s] state of being” (Hansberry 980). Their living room is so restricted that it does not have much life left. Although at one time the room had more life. It had more purpose.
The furniture in the Younger’s living room was chosen with care, love, and hope (Hansberry 80). However, Mr. and Mrs. Younger’s original purpose or dream for their first home, never happens (Hansberry 980). The pattern of their couch barely shows over the couch covers and tables and chairs cover worn places in the carpet (Hansberry 980). Everything in the living room has been cleaned and used to often (Hansberry 980). “Weariness has, in fact, won in this room” (Hansberry 980). Life has made the Younger’s weary. The Younger’s still have their dreams, but setbacks have caused ecome tired.
However, the Youngers have hope when Luna Younger receives her insurance check for her late husband (Hansberry 1000). The ten thousand dollar check gave them hope that they can achieve their dream. This is especially true of Walter Lee. The character Walter Lee shows that dreams are so powerful and important that they can lead to one making a very irrational decision. Walter Lee’s dream is to be able to provide for his family by being rich (Hansberry ). Walter Lee dreams of money and believes that life is driven by money (Hansberry ).
He believes that he finds the key to unlocking his dream when his friend, Willy Harris, propose the idea of him and Bobo investing into a liquor store with him (Hansberry 984). This is not the first time Walter Lee has a get rich plan. Before Willy Harris, Charlie Atkins wanted Walter to go into the dry cleaning business with him (Hansberry 984). Walter Lee did not partner with Charlie Atkins. He regrets this decision because Charlie Atkins is now grossing one hundred thousand a year (Hansberry 984).
So, when given the opportunity, Walter Lee gives his father’s death money to Willy Harris (Hansberry ). Ruth, Walter Lee’s wife, says that Willy Harris is a, “good for nothing loud mouth” (Hansberry 984). Beneatha, Walter Lee’s sister, says that not even Ruth’s son Travis, a ten year old boy, would trust Willy Harris (Hansberry 1024). Given this, the fact that Walter Lee believes that Willy Harris is trustworthy of sixty five hundred dollars is irrational thinking. The fact the Walter Lee gave his money to Willy Harris, is an irrational decision. Willy Harris stole both Walter Lee’s and
Bobo’s money. Walter made that irrational decision because he wanted to achieve his dream of becoming rich. Sadly, his dream blindsided him. Lena Younger, or Mama, dreams of having a garden and owning a house for her family. Lena Younger did not plan on staying in their old house as long as she did (Hansberry 990). She once dreamed of buying a house with her late husband. She wanted to fix their picked out house and make garden in its backyard (Hansberry 990). Lorraine Hansberry uses Lena Younger to show that dreams are too important for people to give up on them.
Lena’s dream of her life with her husband never happens. However, she never gives up on her dream of a having a house for her family and a garden. Lena Younger shows this through her care and love for her plant. Her plant represents her dream for her to have a garden. Lena says that her plant never gets enough sunshine (Hansberry 993). Her dream never gets what it needs to become reality. When Walter Lee foolishly loses their money, Lena’s dream of living in the house in Claybourne Park is crushed.
But even then, Lena still puts her plant on the window still, so that it can get sunlight (Hansberry 1028). After that, Lena talks about how people always said that her and her husband, “aims to high all the time” (Hansberry 1028). However, the fact that Lena still cares about her plant shows that she still believes in her dream. She still believes that her dream is too important for her to give up on. Lena kept her dream and made it reality. At the end of the play, Lena Younger goes back into her old house to retrieve her plant (Hansberry 1033).