How and why do Beneatha and Mama's dreams conflict in A Raisin in the Sun?

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It is not too surprising that mother and daughter are in opposition a bit in this play. The mother/daughter conflict exists in most of humanity. In A Raisin in the Sun, Mama’s dreams only conflict with Beneatha’s dreams when those dreams oppose traditional ideas of family life.

Any (and only) Beneatha’s dreams that oppose family are the dreams that Mama is against. Because Mama’s generation considers the man to be the “natural” head of the family, many of Benetha’s dreams oppose this older idea of the woman as subservient. (Some say this has to do with Mama being a Southerner who moved up north in the chaos that followed the Civil War.) In regards to education, Beneatha only conflicts with Mama in the extent that her upper level of education teaches her to show disrespect to family and/or to move further away from family. (Otherwise, Mama supports Benetha’s...

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