A Raisin In The Sun Synopsis

This essay has a total of 3940 words and 13 pages.

A Raisin In The Sun

A dream deferred is a dream put off to another time, much like this essay. But unlike
dreams sometimes, this essay will get fulfilled and done with. Each character from A
Raisin in the Sun had a deferred dream, even little Travis although his dream was not
directly stated.

Their dreams become dried up like a raisin in the sun. Not just dreams are dried up
though; Walter Lee and Ruth's marriage became dried up also. Their marriage was no longer
of much importance, like a dream it was post-poned and it became dry. Their struggle for
happiness dried up because they had to concentrate all of their energies on surviving.
Their needs seem no longer to be satisfied by each other. But they both saw a resolution
in the insurance check arriving in the mail. The money would let Ruth fulfill her dream of
owning her own house and leaving the apartment. Walter would use the money towards his
dream of owning a business and not having to work for someone. This would allow him to
provide for his family. Emotionally, the stress from not having their dreams realized has
left them despising each other.

Their sadness at unfulfilled dreams overlain with the burden of Ruth's pregnancy gets out
of hand when Walter says, "Who even cares about you?" The two of them realize at that time
that their relationship has dwindled to nothing but nagging and rude comments. Walter may
be sorry for having said that to his wife, because he probably loves her, but he is at the
end of his rope. He feels that every dream he has had has been taken away from him, either
by bad timing or by the white man in general. Ruth, on the other hand, has never had any
other dream except to keep her family together and in working order, and now that is
falling apart.

Willy Harris was what festered like a sore and then ran away. He annoyed Walter Lee for
money, causing Walter Lee to do the same but to his family. Mama was tired of listening
about Walter Lee wanting to invest in a liquor store. Walter Lee's dream to own the liquor
store and be his own boss caused his family much pain. A major reason being he lost all of
their money in the investment. But because his family never listened to him about his
dream, he would go out and drink. When Walter Lee came home drunk, most of what he had
bottled up inside would lash out in a much more violent or ridiculous way. Then Willy
Harris ran away with the money and dream. Walter Lee's dream festered and consumed money,
and then ran away. The money disappeared and so did the dream.

Walter Lee's investment dream also stunk "like rotten meat." Like meat, the dream was very
appetizing. In Walter Lee's eyes, nothing could go wrong, it was a smart investment that
would definitely be profitable. Not once did the thought that Willy Harris might run away
with the money ever cross his mind. "Walter: Yeah. You see, this little liquor store we
got in mind cost seventy-five thousand and we figured the initial investment on the place
be 'bout thirty thousand, see. That be ten thousand each. Course, there's a couple of
hundred you got to pay so's you don't spend your life just waiting for them clowns to let
your license get approved..." But the dream began to rot, and lose composure. He wasted
all the money and his dream became impossible.

The dream that Mama and Ruth shared was to move into a bigger and better house. Mama had
shared that dream with her husband who was never able to live it out. "Mama: "Rat trap" --
yes, that's all it is. I remember just as well the day me and Big Walter moved in here.
Hadn't been married but two weeks and wasn't planning on living here no more than a year.
We was going to set away, little by little, don't you know, and buy a little place out in
Morgan Park. We had even picked out the house. Looks right dumpy today. But Lord, child,
you should know all the dreams I had 'bout buying that house and fixing it up and making
me a little garden in the back -- And didn't none of it happen." So Mama decided to act
out on that dream. She bought a house in a nice neighborhood, unfortunately a white
neighborhood. But it was a good dream, she thought it would provide them with a safe home
and tranquility. But this sweet dream "crust and sugared over - like a syrupy sweet" by
the white people from the neighborhood. Discrimination and hatred caused her dream to
crust over.

Beneatha's dream is the one that "just sags like a heavy load." Beneatha comes to a
realization that all that she had believed in since her youth appears now to be false. She
assumed that by being a doctor, she could cure people of what ails them. She witnessed her
brother's insanity after losing the money he was to use for his family and realized that
someone she did not know had also stolen the means for her education. This caused her to
realize that the ailments of man are not just of a physical nature. She was forced to
accept that the problems of the Younger family would persist, regardless of the means that
appeared to help. She felt that all that she had hoped for since she was a child was taken
away from her without her knowledge. Asagai tried to convince her that not all was lost.
He tried to convince her that it was more of an opportunity for the future doctor, as she
would be able to apply what she learned from the difficulties in her life as a physician
with him in Nigeria. Mama's dream was another that sagged "like a heavy load." As an older
woman, her dream had been with her for a while. After a while, she lost the vigor that she
possessed to fulfill her dream.

Walter Lee is the volcano about to explode. He does whatever he can to fulfill his dream
because his dream is bubbling and needs to come out. But he is also explosive in another
way. In an explosive moment, he fulfills his family's dream of having a house of their
own. He stands up for his family against the "Clybourne Park Improvement Association" and
lives up to his responsibilities. Mama's dream is also the one that explodes. She finally
decided to fulfill the dream that she had had for so many years. But then she saw it
threatened when Walter Lee lost all of their money and the liquor store would never bring
in the money she was counting on. Her reaction was a violent one. "Mama stops and looks at
her son without recognition and then, quite without thinking about it, starts to beat him
senselessly in the face."

"Raisin in the sun" refers to all of their dreams. All of their dreams start as grapes,
nice and juicy. But when put to the sun and left out for a long time, it dries up. When a
dream is put out to reality or put aside for a long time, it will dry up. "Like a raisin
in the sun" is also the first simile used.

The Younger family lived in Chicago's Southside sometime between the 1950's and 1960's.
They lived in the poor part of the city in a black neighborhood. They didn't experience
any direct discrimination because people of their own ethnicity surrounded them. The fact
that they lived in a poor part of the city helped them in their struggle to get out of
there. They did not want to live in such poor conditions so they wanted to fulfill the
dream of leaving. Their economical situation and ethnicity puts many more obstructions in
their path to a better life and future. The Younger family had to struggle in obtaining
money, find their identities, and deal with the discrimination. The discrimination they
had to face in the time that this play takes place is full of hatred. The white people
wanted to stay by themselves and believed that blacks were impure. The discrimination the
Younger family faced was a lot worse than what they would face in the present. They would
now have the support of the government, but back then they could not even count on that.

Black people were still greatly discriminated against in the time of this play. Walter Lee
was a chauffeur and Mama and Ruth would do housekeeping. Walter Lee knew that he could do
so much better. He wanted to become better and if he couldn't, he wanted to be able to
offer his son a better future. Their situation gave them a reason to fight for their
dreams and overcome the obstacles set before them. The first major obstacle they were
overcoming was leaving the apartment and moving into the house. Not only were they
overcoming an economical situation, but they were also overcoming the racial barriers.
They were like pioneers in a new land.

Walter wants to become somebody and achieve goals like those that white men do. But he
becomes too preoccupied with money and ignores the harm he could cause. He focuses too
much on becoming economically successful and forgets about the basics. Instead of going
step by step, he takes a giant leap and falls.

Walter's job affects his life at home greatly. If he got upset at work or had a bad day,
he couldn't show it. This would cause him to keep it bottled up and when somebody would
say one wrong thing, he would burst. Walter had to deal with the knowledge that he can't
provide his family with what they need. "Walter: (Not listening at all or even looking at
her) This morning, I was lookin' in the mirror and thinking about it . . . I'm thirty-five
years old; I been married eleven years and I got a boy who sleeps in the living room—
(very, very quietly)—and all I got to gibe him is stories about how rich white people
live . . ." He was only a limousine driver so he was not satisfied at all with his life.
He was unhappy with his job and was desperately seeking for an opportunity to improve his
family standing. He expressed these feelings when he told his mother about the liquor
store. " I open and close car doors all day long. I drive a man around in his limousine
and I say, "Yes sir; no sir, very good sir; shall I take the drive, sir?" Mama, that ain't
no kind of job... that ain't nothing at all. Mama, I don't know if I can make you
understand." Walter could not provide for his family by American standards so they lived
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