Throughout the play, the characters’ dreams reflect something they feel that is missing in life; Benetha’s lack of identity and Walter’s lack of authority being two major points in the play. Like the continuous flow of nonsense from a desperate student’s brain through fingertips and onto a badly constructed paper, what the characters are lacking in life inspire the dreams that eventually cause their actions. In A Raisin in the Sun, the main characters’ attainment of his or her respective dream continuously affect their individual actions. Lorraine Hansberry utilizes dialogue and symbolism to portray the importance of the family unit and how individual dreams and desires affect it.
The Younger family is the focal point of the play, however, throughout A Raisin in the Sun the characters’ individual actions are what affect the family rather than decisions they make as a whole.
Walter is a constant pest throughout the play; never hesitant to make his thoughts or desires known to the family, especially to Ruth. When Ruth learns about her pregnancy, all she has in mind is for the good of her marriage and the good of her family. She understands the strains of having another child in the cramped apartment, and decides that the best decision for everyone is to abort the child. “Ruth understands Walter’s frustration but is helpless to do anything about it – except, perhaps, have an abortion, which will give him one less mouth to feed.” (Freydberg) When Lena confronts Walter about his inaction and disinterest in his wife, she explains that “[w]hen the world gets ugly enough-a woman will do anything for her family. The part that’s already living,”(Hansberry) to which Walter responds violently. Ruth decides to abort the child and does not…
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…un. New York: Random House, 1994. Print.
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