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A Raisin in the Sun

by Lorraine Hansberry
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In A Raisin in the Sun, how is Mama's dream deferred?

In A Raisin in the Sun, Lena Younger is depicted as a proud, selfless woman whose primary concern is her family's well-being. In the play, Lena Younger receives a ten-thousand-dollar check from the insurance company following her husband's death, which becomes the source of conflict among her family. Each member of the Younger family has their own specific dreams, and tensions rise when Walter Jr.'s dream is initially deferred. Walter Jr. desires to use the insurance money to invest in a liquor business, while Beneatha wishes to use the money to pay for her college education.

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In Lorraine Hansberry's celebrated play A Raisin in the Sun, Lena Younger is depicted as a proud, selfless woman whose primary concern is her family's well-being. In the play, Lena Younger receives a ten-thousand-dollar check from the insurance company following her husband's death, which becomes the source of...

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In Lorraine Hansberry's celebrated play A Raisin in the Sun, Lena Younger is depicted as a proud, selfless woman whose primary concern is her family's well-being. In the play, Lena Younger receives a ten-thousand-dollar check from the insurance company following her husband's death, which becomes the source of conflict among her family. Each member of the Younger family has their own specific dreams, and tensions rise when Walter Jr.'s dream is initially deferred. Walter Jr. desires to use the insurance money to invest in a liquor business, while Beneatha wishes to use the money to pay for her college education.

Initially, Lena Younger refrains from giving Walter the insurance money, because she believes his dream is rather immoral and does not wish to support a liquor business. Her personal dream is to purchase a spacious, comfortable home for her family and finally move out of their tiny South Side apartment. One could also argue that Lena's dream is to see her family happy and fulfilled. Lena then takes the first step to attain her dream by putting a down payment on a home in Clybourne Park. However, her actions lead to Walter's depression and hopeless attitude, which has a profound effect on her.

Eventually, Lena decides to give $6,500 to her son, who gives it to his shady business partner Willy. Unfortunately, Willy steals the money and briefly defers Lena's dreams. Lena's dream is deferred because she no longer has the financial stability to move into the new home and her family is unhappy because of the tragic situation. However, Walter Jr. refuses to sell the home back to the white community, and Lena's family agrees to help pitch in to pay the bills. Lena's dream of solving all of her family's issues is deferred, as is her stability in the white neighborhood, but she refuses to give up on her vision.

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