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A Raisin in the Sun

by Lorraine Hansberry

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What are the difficulties and challenges faced by Walter and Beneatha when attempting to achieve their goals in A Raisin in the Sun?

Walter and Beneatha both struggle to overcome poverty and racial prejudice in order to achieve their goals in A Raisin in the Sun. They are also faced with the challenge of pursuing their dreams without a solid support system and lack a practical plan to attain their goals.

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In Lorraine Hansberry's classic play A Raisin in the Sun, Walter Younger is depicted as a desperate, ambitious man who plans on using his mother's insurance money to invest in a liquor business with his two partners. Walter Younger encounters numerous obstacles in the way of attaining his dream and struggles to overcome poverty and racial prejudice. As a poor black man, Walter lacks the financial resources and privileges that would help him attain his goal and climb the social ladder. Racial discrimination is a significant obstacle, which is systemically designed to keep black citizens from achieving success in America. Walter's lack of education and business savvy are also considered obstacles, which make his dream nearly impossible to achieve. Despite Walter's passion for his dream, he has no business experience or formal training, which makes his plan rather impractical. One could also argue that Walter's lack of support and untrustworthy business partners are significant challenges deferring his dream.

Similarly, Beneatha also faces numerous challenges to attain her dream of becoming a female doctor. Beneatha must overcome society's prejudice against women in positions of authority as well as racial prejudice. Similar to Walter, Beneatha is poor and lacks a support system. Everyone in her family discourages her from attending college to become a doctor and believes that she is more suited for nursing. Tragically, Beneatha and Walter's dreams are both deferred when Willy Harris steals the majority of Lena's insurance money, which Walter planned on using to start his business venture.

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