Give an analysis of how Walter's dream is deferred or realized by the end of the play A Raisin in the Sun.

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In A Raisin in the Sun, Walter's dream to own a liquor store is deferred. The money that his mother has given him to invest is stolen by one of friends, a potential partner in the business.

At first Walter is completely devastated. This is a difficult time as the money represents part of an insurance settlement his mother received at the death of her husband. Even more of a concern is that Walter's wife, Ruth, is expecting their second child, and his mother has just bought a larger house for the family.

One might expect this to complete destroy Walter, who goes to see Mr. Lindner. Lindner is a closet racist who does not want the Younger family to move into his neighborhood, and he has offered them money to purchase the house from them.

However, when Walther meets Lindner, he decides he will not sell the house, even though it is obvious that living in an all-white neighborhood will not be easy.

Though Walter's dream of a liquor store (representative of a job that is not that of a "servant") is deferred, a new sense of self and desire to lead his family forward are realized, which would promise not an easy journey, but fulfillment and self-respect despite his undesirable employment.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that you can make the analysis that Walter's dream is supplanted by a new vision that is realized at the end of the play.  Walter's original dream to open up a liquor store with the insurance money is not realized at the end of the play.  Part of the reason for this is that Walter understands his true identity, something that he failed to grasps at the start of the play.  When he understands that his fundamental role as provider is something that has to be recognized, his dream of helping his family move into a new neighborhood, using the money for a house, his new "dream" is a more collective vision.  Rather than becoming another isolated individual whose dream is "deferred," Walter embraces a vision where there is more solidarity and hope.  This redemption, which lies with his family, is something that is realized, offering a level of hope for not only the Youngers but all who have to live with the precarious reality of having their dreams realized or deferred.

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A Raisin in the Sun

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