A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry: A Criticism of the American Dream Analytical Paper

Due to the large number of opportunities and freedom that the American Dream supposedly offers, individuals from all walks of life have their own personal American Dream that they wish to achieve. For most people those dreams will, however, never turn into reality. Especially African Americans, they have a hard time realizing their dreams and achieving their goals in the 1950’s through the 60’s. Too many challenges that hamper the achievements of their dreams were part of their daily life and difficult to overcome in the. What adds to the hardships of black American families is a generation gap that seems to widen due to the diverging perceptions of the American Dream. Thereby, the aspirations for financial success, that were especially present among younger generations, display a far-off shot from the original paradigm of the American Dream, which used to be the pursuit of happiness, freedom, justice, and more fruitful future prospects for the coming generations. In A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, she shows that achieving one’s dream, especially the American Dream can be difficult, through characterization, conflict, and setting.

The conception of the American Dream has since long been distorted and the principals have undergone, as John E. Nestler depicts it in his essay “The American Dream”, “a metamorphosis” from the basic idea of freedom and equality to materialistic and individualistic ambitions, which would constitute “a sign of moral decay”. In A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry uses the character Walter Lee Younger to illustrate the distorted interpretation of the American dream and its consequent adverse effects. Walter grew up in a time, when money would apparently reign the world and be the center of attention a…

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…t freedom and happiness.

Works Cited

Annas, Teresa. “VSC’s ‘Raisin in the Sun’ Explores American Dreams.” ProQuest. McClatchy – Tribune Information Services, 1 Apr. 2010. Web. 5 Feb. 2014. .

Domina, Lynn, and Lorraine Hansberry. “2. Historical Context: Integration and Segregation in the United States.” Understanding A Raisin in the Sun: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1998. N. pag. Print.

Hansberry, Lorraine “A Raisin in the Sun”. The Norton Introduction to Literature 10th ed. New York. Wwnorton.com, 2011. 950-1021. Print.

Nestler, John E. “The American Dream.” Imigration Daily. Foundation for Economic Education, Oct. 1973. Web. 9 Feb. 2014. .

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