Raisin in the Sun Essay

Published: 2018-01-09 03:49:07
992 words
4 pages
9 min to read
Vanderbilt University
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A Raisin in the Sun and Desire for Happiness


The desire for any person to have a safe and comfortable life play a great role in making people work hard. Sacrifices among other strategies are developed just to ensure the dreams come true no matter the challenges. However, in most cases, the achievement of these goals does not mean that a person's life forever turns into happiness. At times, even after the accomplishment of desires, we find that other factors cannot be satisfied by the achievements. For instance, even after the African American family moved into a new home, they don't enjoy the feeling of this new progress, yet it is what they have longed for, for a long time (Hansberry 23). However, does this mean that people should not desire as the author argues basing on the failure to fulfill the happiness the family got after having dreamt for a new house? The need to dream drives one into working hard whether the goals are achievable or not.

A Raisin in the Sun Summary

  Hansberry argues that in most cases, the desire of having happiness influences one's decision and thoughts. It can be so basing on the life of  Beneatha who attempts many things as a way of getting cash but fails, a practice that leaves Ruth and Mama laughing at her as she struggles to express herself on the matter. Mama to Beneatha, "Why you got to fit so from one thing to another, baby?" (Hansberry 45). However, the author may not be right to say this since n this case of several failed attempts Beneatha could have only given up on one trial and not several. It implies that it is not only happiness that drives the desires of a person but also self-esteem. In the scenario where mama thinks of giving $ 10000 to Walter, Ruth feels that this would give Walter a feeling of happiness as well as confidence basing on how he strives to bring something home through his work as a chauffeur. Walter says, "Mama Do you know what this money means to me?" (Act I...Scene II) She knew she could no longer provide for Walter and this could also be a relief to her. To them, this would be a source of happiness since Walter would use the money in beneficial activities to help the family. Unfortunately, this turns out negative after he loses the money. In this case, the author is right to argue the idea of desires influencing one's decision since Walters wish to have a comfortable and productive life made him make a wrong decision which he regrets later after the money gets lost.

Beneatha's desire to be independent and not to depend on any man pushes her to enter into a career that is perceived to be for men only. To her, she strived to have the happiness that only entailed her freedom. The Freedom to live a life she wants without asking for money from a man but have everything that could be satisfying in all nature. Basing on this, the argument of the author on the fact that desire influences a person's life regarding decision making can be invalid since she makes the choice of wanting to be independent which pushes her into making a career only suitable for men.  If the argument could have been right, Beneatha's decision regarding career could have been another thing provided she is independent but not specifically on the medical subject. Furthermore, the author's argument on the exploration of desire as a key fact in achieving dreams in the case of Beneatha. She is only pushing these thoughts on the bases of pride and not happiness. As a matter of fact, she feels she is comfortable the way she is and does not even want to get into marital status with the aim of being free from any man's bossiness. Her boyfriend at one occasion tells her that he wishes she stops being proud and reduces the ambitions that were making her outrageous. It is also fun to argue on the independence of this lady, yet the money she is using for her study is from the insurance her father left the family. It apparently means that dreams and ambitions cannot influence a person's decisions since other needs can affect the situation.

A Raisin in the Sun Analysis

The author is clear to argue the developing themes or rather titles which keep developing as the chapters unveil.  For instance, we are clear to see themes like love, poverty, self-esteem and racial discrimination. The family survives on low paying jobs with Walter as a Chaffer while his mother and sister do house cleaning activities to earn a living. In his conversation with his mother, Walter says, “Mama I drive a man around in his Limousine …." (Hansberry 48). In one occasion, Walters's wife thinks of carrying out an abortion on their second child since she feels they are both financially and emotionally unstable and this was not good for the baby. Needless to say, the first chapter of the book reveals how the environment this family lives is congested. They share a bathroom with other people in the plot, and this means that they are in a state of poverty as they could have maybe lived in a safe house with everything intact.(toilet and bathroom) Ruth says this to Travis, " I say hurry up Travis, you are not the only person to use the bathroom."


The argument by the author on the matters discussed above can be said to be valid given certain scenes as they unveil in the book. However, I can argue that most of the issues and problems faced by this family mostly by self-satisfaction and pride. They all struggle to survive to be happy, but each one of them only does it on personal interest.

Work Cited

Hansberry, Lorraine. Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. Samuel. French Inc., 1984.


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