American Literature 3/3 – A Raisin in the Sun

After finishing the first act, compose a blog post about one part (related to the American dream) of Act I of A Raisin in the Sun that you found most interesting so far. When there is already a post before yours, you can also refer to this post and add information or ideas to it.

Please find the rubric for your presentations below:
expectations-for-presentations-on-monday

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17 thoughts on “American Literature 3/3 – A Raisin in the Sun

  1. One aspect of the play that strikes me most so far is Beneatha. In the first act, we become aware of her great ambition to be an independent woman and doctor. It becomes clear that finding her identity is very important to her, but by straightening her hair and seeming very defensive about it when Asagai refers to it as “mutilated” also shows that although she does not want to assimilate into the dominant white culture, she still wants to pursue an educated American life (61-62) .
    This is something that made me think about my own life. I have never given much thought to what my American dream is, and because I am still in the process of immigrating to the United States I often wonder how much of my German nationality and culture I can preserve while living the American dream and being an active part of society.

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  2. I agree with what you are saying Ms.Döpke about Beneatha wanting to keep her identity and not assimilate into the white culture of the American dream, but I would also like to add on the idea that Walter is doing the opposite of what Beneath wants to do. He is more invested in the idea of money and owning the liquor store carrying the belief that money can solve everything. Based on Act 1 Scene 2, I believe that Walter is straying away from his roots and slowly assimilates to the white culture as he is arguing with Mama. In page 74-75, we see the two argue about the idea of money with Mama mentioning to Walter that he is not satisfied or proud of what their parents did and during her day she worried about reaching to the North whereas Walter is more in invested in the money. Beneatha on the other hand did not care about what Mama does with the money and does want to continue staying connected to her roots and chooses to learn from about it.

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  3. The part that suprised me the most would have to be when walter was arguing with mama. I agree with angelica when she says that all really walter wants is money and to own the liquor store. He feels that all anyone needs is money and that it would get you out of any problem you get yourself into. Walter seems to want to change who he is and follow the white american dream instead of the american dream that he wants and what he wants for his future. Mama was trying to help him and tell him that he can have his own dream and do what he wants instead of doing the things that everyone else is doing or what everyone else thinks he should do.

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  4. The part of Act 1 that surprised me is how Walter keeps underestimating himself and on doing so brings down Beneatha too. His belief that Beneatha’s dreams are just fantasy over his idea of a liquor shop shows that at these times some African Americans underestimated themselves due to their surroundings and not their capabilities. Beneatha gives a vibe of change not reform such as how Walter is indicating. The chase for the American dream is faltered by the thoughts that’s being shown during the argument between the siblings.

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  5. What surprises me most is how Walter and Beneatha are trying to use Mama’s insurance money for their own selfish gains, (Walter wanting a Liquor store, and Beneatha wanting to be a Doctor) instead of having it as any source of emergency money for Mama, yes what Walter and Beneatha are looking to make more money, but what if such plans backfire. Then they have nothing to show for it. The money belongs to Mama anyways, so Walter and Beneatha have no say what should be done with the money.

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  6. The person I found most interesting so far in this play has been Walter. A commonly held in this world is that money runs this world. Money can get you a new car, a butler, a limo, possibly even a politician in the White House. Money seems to drive everything in this modern day world. Things now are different than they were back then because now people try to do things that seem to be best for their family rather than pursue their own hopes and dreams, Walter takes a similar stance on money. Walter has a job as a car driver, he has the means to provide for his family, but he is not happy, he wants more in life. He wanted to invest and start up a liquor store because he wanted to get rich. He saw rich white people in town talking about how they managed to turn million dollar deals even though they were around his age and as a result, he became dissatisfied with what he had and wanted to have more because he wanted to on equal standings as those people. In all honesty, this belief is a part of everyone, maybe not in the same shape and form, but the idea is there. The idea that as humans we are never satisfied, as long as there is more out there, we want more.

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  7. What surprises me the most about act 1 is how the different ways each member of the Younger family wants to spend the insurance money seems to be the stereotypical idea of the American dream. The typical American dream used to be about wanting to have a house with a white picket fence, a family, opportunities, and overall just a greater life. Many people believed these material things such as cars, clothes, and money would make them happy which can be seen in the dreams of the Younger family. For example Walter wants to own a liquor store and becomes upset when Mama says that the insurance money would not be used to invest towards his business. Walter clearly influenced by a materialistic society believes that the liquor store would bring in more money which would make the family happy. As said by Angelica Mama is quick to point out Walters greedy and money oriented ways pointing out how back in her days she had to worry about getting to the north while he seems to be blind by the more materialistic things.

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  8. What surprised me was when Beneatha and Mama were arguing about their beliefs. How Mama was not going to stand for Beneatha lack of faith in her household. This shows how strong Mama is with her beliefs and that god is highly valued in her life. It reminded me of how typical families act; if you live under your parents household you follow their rules. The American dream is to have freedom yet in a family you don’t have much of it.

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  9. One of the thing that stood up to me the most was Beneatha straightening her hair. This show how she falls into the white American society. This type of situation is true to many immigrants from other countries that come to the United States looking for the American Dream. For many people the American Dreams turns into a dream where they forget their culture, lenguage etc. This is due to the fact that people feel that following the white culture is the way to achieve the American dream. However that’s not true it’s just a mind set that the Society has created and see white culture as the best. Thus Beneatha is falling to the path of changing her culture and she has not realize it.

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  10. One of the thing that stood up to me the most was Beneatha straightening her hair. This show how she falls into the white American society. This type of situation is true to many immigrants from other countries that come to the United States looking for the American Dream. For many people the American Dreams turns into a dream where they forget their culture, lenguage etc. This is due to the fact that people believe that following the white culture is the way to achieve the American dream. However that’s not true ,it’s just a mind set that the Society has created to see white culture as the best. Thus Beneatha is falling into the path of changing her culture and she has not realize it.

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  11. So far to me, there is nothing that really interesting to me just because this story tells a typical family who wants the Ameican dream. Such as having money with a big house and a happy family. Yet each dream of the younger family is unfulfilled because everyone wants something for their own.For example, Walter is infested with the idea of having profit and to make money if when possible. He wants to own a liquor store where he can make his business big. Asagi, I would say is a bit ignorant, he criticizes her straightened hair, which resembles Caucasian hair, and persuades her to cut it and keep a more natural, more African look. I think it is because he came from Nigeria in which he is used to seeing African culture. Just in today’s modern tradition, people from other countries would have a different view on how to keep their culture compare to Americans. And you’re taught to keep the culture going but sometimes as the generations go on, things change and new things arise.

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  12. The Younger family posses a variety of different views on what the American dream is. For example the two completely different views of Walter and Beneatha, one wants money and one wants to find themselves. But something that really surprised me was the way Walter argued with Mama ( pg 72-75 ). She was explaining to him every obstacle she had to face just to be able to live freely in the North. The words seem to just pass through Walter as he dismisses everything she’s said, and proceeded to tell her she doesn’t understand what he wants. Walter seems to have the American dream that the white people want him to have. While Mama and Ruth are looking for a better future for the family, he seems to be blinded by money, and this idea of owning a liquor store in hopes that it’ll solve all of his problems.

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  13. What surprised mo most about Act I was Walter’s dream. While he didn’t directly say what it was, we can make the assumption that he wants to be white. On page 73 in Scene 2, Walter says “Sometimes it’s like i can see the future stretched out in front of me–just plain as day. The future Mama. Hanging over there at the edge of my days. Just waiting for me–a big, blooming blank space–full of nothing. Just waiting for me.” I interpret that as him not wanting to do the same job for the rest of his life and wanting to do something with it, but he can’t because he isn’t white. This surprised me because it shows just how much power white people have over everyone in the US at this time.

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  14. The most interesting thing so far would be the intentions of Walter, he is pressing so hard to convince his family that they should risk the money (they just got ) in to the stock market, he claims he is doing it for the family but if he wanted to do good for his family why not take them to a place better than they are now? i don’t mean materialistic wise but more like his family just wants a place to go where money isn’t a problem but everything during the industrial age wasn’t cheap at all unless you were living in the country.(i’m leaving it like this before it gets to long.)

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  15. Walter is obsessed with the idea of owning a liquor store, he keeps telling his wife to convince to used the money they have, however Ruth only wants to live a simple life. she wants to live happy in a place where she is accepted, therefore this is a complicated situation because she is an African america and for her to live an a comfortable place its impossible. even today African america still have the wish to live in a country where freedom and justice is a fundamental of the Country. Walter sees the american dream in a materialistic way, and personally it’s one of the things that always comes to my head when i think of the american dream.

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  16. Walter is blinded by the idea of the American Dream. In owning a liquor store he sees success for himself and with that being able to provide for his family. However, he just connects the liquor store to money and money to success when indeed being successful is not only about the money. Most people perceive the American Dream and connect it to being successful so essentially he is striving towards the American Dream. However, more realistically it seems like Walter is just tying to fit in with the successful people which at the time were mostly white folks. When he sees his mother’s check for her late husband I think he sees a cheat or a free pass to this success. Which she however will not waste on a liquor store. Mama sees determination, and perseverance in young Beneatha. She wants to invest her money into Beneatha’s realistic dream of becoming a doctor. Beneatha is striving towards having a real career which is a much more realistic approach towards the American Dream than Walter.

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  17. I was surprised with the obsession that Walter had ,Because of the fact that the American dream has blinded him with greed and only his selfish needs .I say this because he wants the money to fill a whole in his life but isn’t looking for the better of every body and seems like he just wants Mamas money for his needs and thing else. And to put it in my perspective and what I’ve seen people are starting to careless about people and more about the money which isn’t right in my opinion . And I don’t care what dream there is no dream should manipulate you into your own fantasy with only you and not anyone else where you have become a greedy self centered person.

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