Throughout the play, A Raisin in the Sun, the Younger family struggles to come together as a household. One of the main obstacles in their unity is their varying views on the world. Each character has their own dream and hesitates to compromise that dream for anything. They hesitate of having their dream deferred. Their dreams, particularly Walter Lee’s, break the family apart, and it is just when they unify their dreams together that they unite the family.
The majority of the members of the Younger family have some type of private dream.
Beneatha wishes to be a doctor; Ruth wants to move into a home that is her own; Mom merely wants to keep the family together; and Walter wishes to have the ability to offer conveniently for his family. All these differing dreams and objectives trigger rifts in the family from time to time, but none more so than Walter Lee Younger’s dream. Walter is a pivotal character in the play. His actions form the plot certainly, and it is because of his strong will and determination towards his dream that the plot advances as it does. He thinks that his way is the best for the family and he will do anything to accomplish it.
After feeling closer to his dream than ever before he tells Travis, “Simply inform me what it is you wish to be- and you’ll be it … Whatever you want to be– Yessir! You simply name it, child … and I hand you the world!” (Hansberry, 109). This reinforces the concept that Walter thought that his dream would conserve his boy. In her book, Worlds of Discomfort, Lillian B. Rubin writes, “For the kid– specifically a boy– born into a professional middle class home, the sky’s the limitation; his dreams are reasonably unconfined by restrictions … For many working class young boys, the experience is just the reverse” (Rubin, 38).
The life of a kid in an expert middle class home is precisely what Walter wants for his kid, and he would do anything to get it. He believed that once he achieved financial security, he might save his son from a working class life. The primary issue for Walter, however, would be that his quest for monetary security, and ultimately his dream, would come in between him, his family, and his marital relationship. Ruth senses this and tells Mother, “Mama, something is taking place between Walter and me. I don’t know what it is– however he requires something– something I can’t give him anymore.
He needs this opportunity, Lena” (Hansberry, 42). The possibility that she refers to was his initial step into a financial investment towards financial security. He put his dreams and aspirations in front of everything since of his strong will. This led to rather of a passiveness towards any other affairs to the house. Nowhere is this more apparent than when Walter discovers Ruth intend on getting an abortion. After Mom attempts to force him to talk things over with his wife, the phase direction states, “(WALTER gets his keys and his coat and walks out …” (Hansberry, 75).
This all-consuming dream of Walter’s gets in between Walter and his household and causes tension throughout the plot. Walter lives the poem A Dream Delayed by Langston Hughes throughout the play. When Mother has purchased a new home with the money he wanted to utilize for his financial investment, Walter says to her, “you butchered up an imagine mine– you– who constantly talking ’bout your children’s dreams …” (Hansberry, 95). Here he seems like his dream has actually been delayed and his dream begins to “stink like rotten meat” (Hughes, 6).
Even though most of the people around him might not see his dream like he did, his attitude reeked of unfinished expectations. His postponed dream “fester(s) like a sore …” (Hughes, 4) and the pain begins to stretch his peace of mind. He says himself, “I desire many things that they are driving me sort of crazy … Mom– look at me” (Hansberry, 73). It is this insanity and this dream that triggers the dispute within the household. The real test of unity for the household featured the 2nd arrival of Mr. Lindner.
It is then that Walter has to decide that will either bring his family together and put him as head of the family or break them all apart. Ultimately, he puts his family initially and even Mom remarks, “He lastly enter his manhood today, didn’t he? Type of like a rainbow after the rain …” That day he put his family before his dreams. He recognized that moving into their own home and defending themselves would be the very best thing for his household. With this single act, he reinforced himself as the head of the household. Once everybody, particularly Walter, come together towards Mother’s dream, they come together as a system.
They no longer act separately but act for the good of the household. They see that their future threatens and they must stand together if they are to oppose it. There is no longer talk of abortions or money; they speak regularly of the household. This dream of owning their own house is exactly what the household required and when it was attained, the Youngers became stronger and better. Though Walter needed to compromise the most, primarily his dreams and aspirations, when he did, he led the family through to their unity. His altruism permitted the family to reside in harmony.
Professors Bahr & & Bahr of Brigham University composed in their article, Households and Self-Sacrifice: Option Designs and Significances for Family Theory, “We draw from the disciplines of economics, history, approach, literature, sociology, and from life as lived by daily people in making the case that self-sacrifice is a powerful and an important part of social life usually, and family life in particular” (Bahr, 1231). Self-sacrifice is important for the family to work together as a system. An individualistic method to family life leads only to discord and disunity.
Walter Lee Younger made this discovery, perhaps even subconsciously, when he chose to decline the cash that Mr. Lindner provided that was needed to realize his aspirations. Just when this was attained could the Youngers be a cohesive family. English historian Thomas Fuller as soon as stated, “The darkest hour is right before the dawn.” This well-known quote is thoroughly relevant to A Raisin in the Sun. Though the Youngers had serious familial problems, they pulled through it more powerful than ever in the past, thanks to the unifying dream that lit the way through the night.