How can you compare and contrast George and Joseph in A Raisin in the Sun?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In A Raisin in the Sun, George and Joseph are opposing characters; however, they do share a belief that America can provide them with access to their dreams.  George has been raised in a wealthy family, and when Beneatha asks him what he wants from his future, he replies that he wants to take over his father's company and get married.  He knows that this will be a possible reality for him, and it is his dream for the future. 

Joseph, on the other hand, is the only man from his village who has such a high level of education, and he is proud that he has been able to follow his dream.  Joseph differs from George in that he understands that there are many barriers for people to overcome when trying to reach for their dreams and gain opportunities.  He scolds Beneatha for giving up on her dreams so easily when Walter loses much of the family's money because he understands that dreams are precious.  George does not have these same beliefs, possibly because he has never really had to work hard for anything in his life.