Examine how Clarkson's "Breakaway" can connect to Hansberry's A Raisin the Sun.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One clear connection between Clarkson's song and Hansberry's drama is how both of them treat the concept of dreams.  The idea of envisioning a life that is radically different than the Status Quo is essential to the core of Clarkson's song.  The insistence of having to "take a risk" to the need to "take a chance" that underscores the reality of being driven to "make a change" are all a part of this reality.  Clarkson's song affirms that dreams as synonymous with the "spread of wings" and the "learn to fly" ideas.  The song embraces the ability to dream as part of its message.

Hansberrry's characters embrace this same idea of dreams.  The American Dream can be seen in Walter, who wishes to make something more of his life than what is.  It can also be seen in Beneatha, who recognizes that her life is not going to be defined by social standards of what a woman of color must do.  It is most evident in the actions of Mama Younger, who understands fully that her family needs to move into Clybourne Park.  The need to dream and the embrace of the American Dream is where Hansberry's work and Clarkson's song find convergence in their affirmation of what can be in the face of what is.