Characters Dream of Insurance Checks in Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Every one of the characters in “The Raisin in the Sun” had a dream which involved an insurance check they received after the death of Lena’s husband. Lena, who is also known as Mama, dreamed to have a home of her own and to see her children accomplish their own dreams and Beneatha dreamed to become a doctor and to find the correct way to “express” herself. Ruth dreamed to be wealthy and have a happy family and for the family to have a place to call their own. It is these dreams that serve to explain the personality of the characters, provide a meaningful context for the development and decline of conflicts between them, and help the readers either admire or dislike them.

Beneatha is an intellectual, twenty years old, she attends college and is better educated than the rest of the women in the Younger family. Hansberry reveals Beneatha’s values regarding education. Beneatha believes in education as a means to understanding, idealism and self-fulfillment rather than money. Some of her personal beliefs and views have distanced her from Mama who is very conservative. She mentions to Ruth and Mama that she might not get married, a possibility that really shocks them because it is not within their expectations of a woman’s role. Beneatha’s dream to become a doctor was related to her desire to find her true identity, be a well prided, independent woman who could be free from the stereotypical house-working woman lifestyle and be successful without relying on a man. She was also an anti-assimilation idealist who was against embracing the white American culture and argued the need for African Americans to pride themselves on their heritage and celebrate it. Her solution and dream was to attend college initially, and become a doctor. Within…

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…ides these parts that were not included in the adaptation, everything else within the adaptation seems to correlate well with the original drama when looking at things in terms of the women’s performances.

Nonetheless, in the end of the story, the other three characters found new avenues that brought them replenished hope and new dreams and this was because of Mama. Ruth discovered avenues different to her initial one when she accepted Mama’s idea for a home. Beneatha fought for her dream as well as that of Mama’s and she eventually regained her hope to express herself after hardship and went on to marry and go to Africa. Despite the fact that the title, “A Raisin in the Sun”, may suggest to us dried-up or unaccomplished dreams, Lena’s strong character and her unselfish dreams brought the family together and brought about new and more meaningful dreams for everyone.

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