A Raisin in the Sun and the Characters’ Dreams

A Raisin in the Sun

All people have dreams and they deserve to have them fulfilled. Some dreams, however, are more worthy than others because they tend to be selfless, have a greater perspective, and can be of benefit to the dreamer and the people around him. This is the case of Mama’s dream in the play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. The character dreams about getting a bigger house so her family can fit in it and be together, and this dream is greater than other dreams of her family members due to its purity, selflessness, and its goal.

Mama wants to get a bigger house because she knows that her family needs it; so unlike the dreams of others, her dream is very practical and predictable. Unlike the dream of her son who wants to invest in a shaky business, and her daughter’s dream which is centered solely on her, Mama’s dream is big and suits everyone. She wants a big house not for herself but for the people she loves, because of the family’s growth they need more space. She realizes that a big house can also keep the people together because they will be able to live in a larger house without feeling lack of space. Besides, a large house could give other family members a good start to move forward. The fulfillment of Mama’s dream does not contradict her children’s dreams which could be reached through other means, but it certainly serves her family goals in general.

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Mama’s dream is better because it has legacy and support. The woman wants to get a bigger house that she has been dreaming about for a long time, and she has shared her dream with her husband. Therefore, it is not something she has thought about recently without much consideration; quite the opposite, it is something that she has wanted and believed in for years prior to getting the money. For Mama, buying a new and a large house would be like satisfying her husband’s will because he also wants his family to be together and in a nice place. The legacy makes the dream selfless and pure. Moreover, Mama has supporters; her daughter in law, Ruth, wants the same thing as she. Ruth is pregnant and has already one child with Mama’s son, Walter Lee. Rush realizes that with such a large family it is impossible to remain in the same small space, so instead, it would be wise to move to a better and bigger place. This is also selfless because the woman takes care of her family and not herself; she wishes to get a big house for the sake of staying together. The fact that both women share the same dream and find it important for the entire family proves that the dream is selfless and can be of benefit to many people instead of just to one individual. It also shows the practical side of the dream as it is possible to reach it.

Dream’s potential is another reason, which places this dream above others. Both Mama’s children are obviously ambitious people whose dreams can bring great benefits to everybody. For example, if Mama’s daughter had her dream fulfilled, she could use it for her school tuition, and if Mama’s son had his way, he would invest the money in a successful business as he always wanted. However, her son’s failure shows the lack of potential in such dream because it is not thought over, and it has major drawbacks. The dream of the daughter is rather selfish and could be achieved through other means; for instance, she could get a scholarship or work to support her studies instead of spending the family money for herself only. The house’s potential is to use it by everyone, and also, because it could push the people to do something more and greater now to have a better place to stay. For example, if the family moved and stayed together, they would reduce psychological pressure on one another because they would always have their relatives to help them deal with the hardships in life. The potential of the dream is to lead to other dreams being fulfilled. For example, if the family had got a large house and stayed together, the members of the family could figure out a new way to achieve their goals or come up with new plans. The daughter in law could feel less stressed about her pregnancy, the family would be stable, and they would not need to prove anything to anybody because they would have each other. Ironically, the relatives realize it by the end of the play, although, they no longer have any money to get a house. Hopefully, though, they will manage to find a way to be together.

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Thus, the dream of Mama is the greatest of all the dreams described in the play, because it is selfless, it has a legacy and connects different generations, and it also has a potential to change the entire family for the better. Mama’s dream is about everyone’s happiness and the opportunity to remain together, and this makes her dream worth being achieved first.

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