The American Dream in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun
“A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry is about living the “American Dream”. Hansberry wrote her story in 1959. The “American Dream” that she describes and the one that currently exists are vastly different. In 1959, the dream was to work hard and live a comfortable life. American’s believed that you would live a good life as long as you had your family and had food on the table. Let’s fast forward to 2003. The “American Dream” is to have two cars, a glamorous house, a pool, a 40 hour a week job, and oodles of “stuff”. I define stuff as material possessions such as DVD’s, video games, and TV’s. When did the dream go from being happy to having tons of material possessions?
I am devising a tipping point strategy to change the “American Dream” back to having a close relationship with your family, working hard, and being happy. By changing the dream, Americans will be happier and have less stress in their life.
The new “American Dream” is strongly engraved into the minds of society. It will be difficult to “tip” back the other way. The change will not happen suddenly. It can only happen slowly, and over a long period of time. The change from Hansberry’s dream and the current dream also took years to change. The Law of the Few plays a huge role in changing the dream. To tip the dream in the better direction, some people that are influential in society need to adopt this dream as their own. If a man as successful as Bill Gates decided that he wanted a more laid back, it would do a great deal to attract others to do so as well. In retrospect, if I adopted this dream, no one would care. Bill Gates is considered a connector in our society. He has done much to improve our technology. That is why he would be more likely to cause a “social epidemic” than I would.
The second factor that would have to be dealt with in changing the “American Dream” is the stickiness factor. Let’s use Bill Gates as the example again. If he went on TV proclaiming that he was a billionaire, no one would listen. Even if they did listen, they would not remember. If Gates went on TV and said he was only going to work part time and he was going to give most of his money to charity, people would listen.