The strenuous circumstances to devour their aspirations.” With Hughes

  The epigraph to A Raisin in the Sun is Langston Hughes’ poem called  “A Dream Deferred” which is an example of life in Harlem. The lines are an introduction to the white society’s actions to take away the equal opportunity from black citizens. Hughes makes a valid point that “…there could be consequences when folks frustrations build up or accumulate to the point where they have to either surrender their dreams or allow strenuous circumstances to devour their aspirations.” With Hughes poem being used as the background,to the theme of the poem and the relation to Hansberry’ “A Raisin in the Sun” are significant. The play’s  title is taken from a line in Langston Hughes’ poem about deferred dreams, but also the epigraph has a question that the play attempts to answer. Hansberry’s impersonation of dreams leads to a number of possible answers to “What happens to a dream deferred?.”  Hansberry created a  story around the belief that the dreams and ambitions can destroy our psyche if they are ignored.  We as humans, need dreams because they represent our active search toward self-improvement.         For instance,  Mama’s plant, its weak but strong and resilient. It represents her dream, to be living in a bigger house with a lawn that she can look at. Ms.Lena  tends to her plant daily, and in doing so, she shows her dedication to her dream and her family.  Mama  puts out her plant early in the morning, It’s the first thing that she does in the morning.  At the beginning of the play, it is clear that  her plant ( her dream), and her family are important to her. Mama says  the plant “…  ain’t  never had enough sunshine or nothing… ” (52) but it still survives.  Her dream always has been deferred but it still stands strong. With her husband passing away, and the insurance money left behind awakened Mama, and showed her the first opportunity to realize her dream.         Beneatha Younger,  had a dream of becoming a doctor and to someday save her race from ignorance.Beneatha,  is living “in chicago’s southside, sometime between world war II and the present.” (Hansberry)  When society expects women to ‘make homes instead of careers”. As for saving her race from ignorance, Beneatha believes she can make people understand through action, I think this is because she knows that if she proves the women of her community that she as a  women, can go to school and become a doctor and hold the same position as a male can, as long as you are determined. The exact decision she chooses remained unclear at the end of the play, but she did paint a great image of the many different roads she wanted to take in order to express herself .       Finally, the last character, Walter Lee Younger, the son of Lena Younger has big dreams of becoming very wealthy and providing for his family, like the rich people he drives around to do. He often identifies this dream in terms of his family, as he wants to give his family what he never had growing up. I kinda feels like he is a slave to his family’s hardship being that his father “… look at the rug and looked back at me.. i knew he was down then” (45) . it seems as if his dreams have been deferred by his family’s poverty and his own inability to find decent employment.  Walter currently is working as what seems to be a shofur or cab driver, and he doesn’t enjoy it. He relates his lack of job the aspect to racism, which may be partially true but it’s also, in my opinion, an excuse. Over the course of the play, his dreams of gaining wealth evolves, and by the end of the play, it’s kinda not even his priority anymore. When that dream falls apart, it can erupts like a sore whose infected, from all the disappointment of his dreams of being a store owner being broken right before his eyes. He drinks heavily and comes home verbally abusive to his wife, Ruth, and his sister, Beneatha.  In other words, his dream “stinks like rotten meat.” (Hughes)      In the beginning of the story, Walter, seems like he is a man who is abusive to his wife. The way he talks to her is very crude and disrespectful if you ask me. As i read the story and looked deeper, i came to realize that he is not an abusive man as i thought he was. Walter wants his wife, Ruth, to listen to him and believe in his dreams as much as he believes in his dreams. Ruth, walters wife, was a nice woman but when her husband brings up his dreams she brushes him off and tells him “eat your eggs!” and “go to work!” (34) I can see a person getting upset due to their dreams being put on the back burner, and devoured due to certain circumstances. In this case the circumstance was him giving away the money his mother trusted him with to deposit into bank accounts. Walter had given $6500.00 to his friend who he had been planning to go into business with. They basically took the money and ran with it, crushing the dreams of Walter Lee Younger. Which is sad, Lena had trusted her only on with the remainder of the cash left from his father and her husbands insurance policy, and he threw it down the drain. Of course it was a dream that walter had this big dream of becoming an owner of a liquor store, but it shouldn’t have happened that way, and maybe not at that time. Walter was a heavy drinker at the time, he was skipping work to go to a bar and drink alcohol all day, listen to music than go home and say mean things to his wife. Had he gotten that liquor store it most likely would have gotten worse, so it was probably best that the money got taken from him because he sees now that money isn’t everything. There is No doubt in my mind, that  Walter’s dream is not found among the deferred dream of Hughes’s poem. He is a bitter man who has lost all hope in becoming successful. Hughes, in his descriptive imagery, understands what a dream deferred looks like. “…it’s like a raisin in the sun… that festers like a sore.. Than run…” (Hughes)  The visual images Hughes conveys in his poem are metaphorically expressed and show a connection to Walter and his deferred dream, as well as the other characters in the story.