Abstract illustration of the houses of Clybourne Park

A Raisin in the Sun

by Lorraine Hansberry
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How did all the characters's dreams, when pursued, change them?

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All the members of the Younger family are affected by pursuing their dreams. In many ways, the dream of Lena Younger, or Mama, is the one that has—or will have—the greatest effect. Her dream, on a conceptual level, is to make a better life for her family; in practical terms, this translates into buying a house where they can live together. Because her late husband's insurance will enable this dream to come true, Lena ultimately has control of the means to achieve what she wants for the family.

Ruth's dream is most closely related to Lena's because she worries about what will become of her son, Travis. After their decision to move is reaffirmed and they begin to prepare, Ruth is elated that her family—including the future baby—will have a nice neighborhood and yard.

It seems in some ways that Walter's dream has been thwarted after the money is stolen and he cannot open his business, but when he steps up to the plate and refuses the homeowner association's bribe for them not to move into the white neighborhood, the underlying dream Walter has cherished is realized.

The audience does not see how Beneatha’s dream turns out. Perhaps she will become a doctor and perhaps she will also move to Nigeria. Although her journey is not finished, she has learned respect for Joseph's culture and pursued her desire to understand her African heritage.

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