Dreams and Goals Explored in a Raisin in the Sun

Dreams and goals make life worthwhile. Dreams help individuals discover who they are and the achievement of them help makes the world go round. It is the achieving of those dreams that is not always easy and this is something that Lorraine Hansberry explores in her play, A Raisin in the Sun. The main characters in this play all have very different dreams and very different ideas on how to achieve those dreams. Lena is practical in that she wants to use the insurance money to invest in something that her family can benefit from for many years. Beneatha is also realistic in that she knows if she ever stands a chance at being a doctor, she must complete college. Walter, on the other hand, is the least practical when it comes to his dreams. He only knows that he wants more money but he does not have a plan to do that. He would rather jump from one silly scheme to another rather than reflect upon his goals and desires. These characters represent many of the people we know today. Some are realistic and practical while others simply have no vision. Through Lena, Beneatha, and Walter, we see how dreams are significant to personal success, whether or not they are ever actually achieved because they build character.

Lena is a strong woman that loves her family. Her lifelong dream is to provide a decent home for her family. During her marriage, she and her husband struggle just to get by, so she understands the difficulty associated with achieving this dream. The insurance money is undoubtedly her answer to a prayer and perhaps the only way that she might see this dream come true in her lifetime. Her dream for her family illustrates what a giving person she is. She is willing to take the insurance money and essentially share it without the entire family. She knows without a doubt that a house is the absolute best thing for her family. Lena's dream is realistic and practical. She will be giving her family something that they will be able to enjoy for yeas and years. When Walter voices opposition, she says remembers how difficult times can be and tells him, "We was going backward 'stead of forwards -- talking about killing babies and wishing each other was dead . . . When it gets like that in life -- you just got to do something different, push on out and do something bigger" (2238). This statement demonstrates her strength to endure as well as her wisdom. She knows that Walter can be a big dreamer and she does her best to keep him from harm. Lena's dream defines her as a solid, realistic person that knows that life is difficult. She understands that no one is going to make that happen for her. Lena is a realist that has tried to pass down her strong work ethics to her children.

Beneatha is an intelligent, well-educated young woman that sees her future in front of her. Her dream is to become a doctor and help those in need and she is doing what she can to achieve this dream. She is attending college and making some positive motion in a particular direction. Beneatha's dream is to go to medical school and eventually help others. Hers is a noble dream and it would be good for her because she actually wants to help others. She tells her boyfriend that being a doctor is the "most marvelous thing in the world" (2253). Beneatha is like her mother in that she understands that in order to achieve her dream, she must work and put in some serious effort toward that…