• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Three Major Dreamers

Extracts from this document...


Three Major Dreamers An essay to compare and contrast the beliefs and values of the three main characters of the play "A Raisin in the Sun" What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore- And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags Like a heavy load. Or does it explode? -Langston Hughes What happens when a dream dies? Like Langston Hughes pointed out, does it dry up or run away? Does it rot, sag or explode? These are some of the questions analysed by Lorraine Hansberry through the three prinicipal characters of the play: Mama, Walter and Beneatha. They all have very contrary attitudes towards life and this essay will explore these opposing opinions and explain some of these conflicting views. Walter Younger "is a lean, intense young man in his middle thirties, inclined to quick nervous movements and erratic speech habits and always in his voice there is a quality of indictment"; he is, in fact, the character who has the greatest variety of personalities and who undergoes the most dramatic change (evolves the most during the course of the play). For instance, he can be called pugnacious when referred to as Beneatha's brother, but caring as Travis' father and audacious as Ruth's wife. For having these quite adverse characteristics, Walter can be judged as either the protagonist of the play or the antagonist. One can analyse him as a materialistic ("No - it was always money, Mama. We just didn't know about it,"), egotistical and unforgiving family man, whose pride is greater than the love he has for his relatives. However, one can also see him as a man who loves his family so much to a point where he'll do anything, even go against them and hurt their feelings, just so they can have the best, just so to secure their economic prosperity ("Just tell me, what is it that you want to be - and you'll be it...Whatever you want to be - Yessir! ...read more.


"Well - neither is God. I get sick of hearing about God." "I mean it! I'm just tired of hearing about God all the time. What has He got to do with anything? Does he pay tuition?" Even if she does not believe in God, it is more than disrespectful to call him "just one idea" that she doesn't accept and to say He's "not important" to her religious mother. What dismays Mama the most is the fact that she didn't raise her dauther to become an atheic; she and her husband "went to trouble" to get Beneatha "and Brother to church every Sunday" (referring to Walter). "I'm not going out and be immoral or commit crimes because I don't believe in God. I don't even think about it. It's just that I get tired of him getting credit for all the things the human race achieves through its own stubborn effort. There is simply no blasted God - there is only man and it is he who makes miracles!" "I also see that everybody thinks it's all right for Mama to be a tyrant. But all the tyranny in the world will never put God in the heavens!" Both these remarks are just a couple of examples to illustrate how Beneatha can be exceedingly self-centered at certain times. Nevertheless, Beneatha's strongest quality is that of hating "assimilationist Negroes" and believing that "the only people on the world who are more snobbish than rich white people are rich coloured people." At the beginning of the play she did 'mutilate' her hair so as to make it look prettier than when it was 'raw', but comprehends it was not part of her African identity. As a result, she decides to cut it all off ("Enough of this assimilationist junk!"), in order to become more like "a queen of the Nile" than a "Hollywood queen". This is just the start of her search for her 'black' identity, which she is able to find and takes pride in it. ...read more.


Mama can be, actually, considered the best type of black person there is; "coming from five generations of people who was slaves and sharecroppers", she will do whatever it takes to fight for her family's rights and although she can sometimes see her son as "a disgrace" to his "father's memory", and think she should sometimes "slow down and see life a little more like it is", she'll never give up on any of her family's dreams, even if they are too high, for they are the most precious things in the entire world. Besides, she knows they "ain't never been that dead inside." One of Mama's best saying was directed to Beneatha after she says there is nothing left to love, regarding her brother, Walter. Lena immediatley responds, "There is always something left to love. And if you ain't learned that, you ain't learned nothing. (...) Child when do you think is the time to love somebody the most; when they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well, then then you ain't through learning - because that ain't the time at all. It's when he's at his lowest and can't believe it hisself 'cause the world done whipped him so." As you can observe from Mama's character, there is a slight reference to Martin Luther King, who said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. (...) I have a dream that one day, (...) little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. (...) I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." Isabela Goulart -9A- ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Other Authors section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Other Authors essays

  1. Characterization of Walter in A Raisin in the Sun

    You run our lives like you want to.... so you butchered up a dream of mine-you- who always talking 'bout your children dreams..." Moreover, Walter is angry over her sister's decision of going to medical school,he thinks this is just a waste of money. When he asks Beneathea to stop being "holy", he means he wants her to

  2. How does Ayub Khan-Din portray conflict in the play East is East

    Mainly because the times have changed, hence what may have worked on George when he was a child in Pakistan, may not be as effective on his children growing up in the 1970s England. One could argue that the major reason for why George is so motivated to give his

  1. I am going to write about how Walter undergoes a transformation in the play ...

    He also realises he has let Mama down and he destroyed Beneatha's dreams. The quote that show's this is, "Son... Is it gone? Son, I gave you sixty-five hundred dollars. Is it gone? All of it? Beneatha's money too?". This quotation shows Mama trusted Walter with the money but he

  2. Ralph says "Things are breaking up I don't understand why. We began well. We ...

    He discovers the conch. "...something creamy lay among the ferny weed" and after Piggy explains what it is, he adopts it as his symbol of power. All the boys respect it during Golding's novel until the end when Roger pushes the rock into Piggy; the conch is destroyed as Piggy is murdered.

  1. Arcadia Essay - Thomasina

    Thomasina calls Septimus a "Cheat!" several times in quick succession, and she is incredibly angry with him. This fact that she is so visibly upset makes it clear to the audience that she is disappointed - disappointed that Septimus would result to such low methods to get the power back.

  2. How Does Charles Dickens Create Characters That Are Both Memorable And Striking? Refer To ...

    Another example of Magwitch's appearance is when he is described as going through all the obstacles before reaching the graveyard: " A man who had been soaked in water , and smothered in mud , and lamed by stones , and cut by flints and stung by nettles , and

  1. "A Raisin in the Sun" by Lorraine Hansberry

    Linder's arrival to close the deal, the family is once again at the point of disintegration. Beneatha calls Walter a "toothless rat" for losing the family's money and capitulating to Mr. Linder. Lena chastises Beneatha and offers sympathetic words for her son, but Walter seems a defeated man.

  2. The law is only a word for what has a right to happen.(TM) What ...

    because it's unnatural, but in this case it is natural and a river will drown you if you buck it now." Alfieri is suggesting that Eddie's feelings for Catherine are 'unnatural'. The law can't do anything of Eddie's high expectation.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work