What theme relates to the conflict between mama and her children and what was mama's dream and big walter's dream for their children?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You need to take a look at the title of this play, "A Raisin in the Sun". It is taken from a line of poetry by Langston Hughes called Dream Deferred. The first line of the poem echoes the entire theme of the play and explains both the conflict between Mama and her children and Big Walter's dream. The line of the poem asks "What happens to a dream deferred". If something is deferred, it means it is put off until later. All of the characters in the play have some kind of dream that has been put off or "deferred". Both Big Walter and Mama believed they would be able to move soon from the small apartment her family still occupies years after they moved in. That dream never happened. It's been deferred until Mama buys the house in the all-white neighborhood. Walter wants to be a businessman and buy a liquor store. Ruth wants to have plenty of space for her children, yet Travis still sleeps in the living room. And Beneatha wants to be a doctor, despite the taunts from her brother. The one thing that connects all of the characters is the fact that their dreams have not yet come true. They keep getting put off and as Beneatha says at one point, "We've all got ghettoitis". They are all tired of living in a cramped apartment and never seem to get anywhere in life. When the insurance money from Big Walter's death arrives, it is enough money for some, but not all of their dreams to come true and the family must learn the priorities of life in relationship to their dreams.