What other responses fail to analyze much is what Walter’s underlying dream actually represents. While Walter thinks that his latest business venture will lead to financial success, his underlying desire to become financially independent is motivated by something deeper.
Walter feels as though his racial identity has relegated him to an unsatisfying life of inferiority. He believes that achieving financial success will bring his family happiness, but what is most important to him is the respect he believes society will show him once he becomes rich. The promise of the American Dream—that anyone can have freedom and success—appeals to Walter because he wrongly thinks this will remove society’s ability to control him.
The reason Walter’s liquor store dream must fail is the same reason Beneatha ’s medical school dream must fail. Both of the Younger children place too much value on money and traditional measures of success. Hansbury shows that dreams predicated on a dead man’s...
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