A powerful poem by Langston Hughes

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?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

– Langston Hughes

How did A raisin in the sun get its name?
– A Raisin in the Sun is a play by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959. The title comes from the poem “Harlem” aka “A Dream Deferred”) by Langston Hughes.


A Raisin in the Sun -The American Dream

The American Dream holds that Americans are all equal but In A Raisin in the Sun, caucasians want the Youngers away from them so badly that they are willing to pool in a considerable amount of money to keep their neighborhood all white. Both racism and wealth differences affect how people view other people.The American Dream’s principles of equality for all Americans don’t exist in The Raisin in The sun because the younger are not treated equally.

A Raisin in the Sun Symbols

Mamas Plant – The most important symbol in the play is Mama’s plant it represents both Mama’s care and her dream for her family. At the start of the play Mama confesses that the plant never gets enough light or water, but she takes pride in how it still stands under her care. Her care for her plant is similar to her care for her children, and unconditional love for her family and despite a less-than-perfect environment for growth and money.

Beneatha’s Hair – At the beginning of the play Beneatha had straightened hair. Halfway through the play after Asagai visits her and questions her hairstyle, she cuts her Caucasian-seeming hair. Her new, afro represents her embracing of her heritage. Beneatha’s cutting of her hair is a very powerful social statement, as she symbolically declares that natural is beautiful, prefiguring the 1960s cultural credo that black is beautiful. Rather than force her hair to conform to the style society dictates, Beneatha opts for a style that enables her to more easily reconcile her identity and her culture. Beneatha’s new hair is a symbol of her anti-assimilationist beliefs as well as her desire to shape her identity by looking back to her roots in Africa.

The American Dream

“The American Dream
The belief that with hard work, courage, and determination, anyone can prosper and achieve success.”

Source: Boundless. “Social Mobility in the U.S..” Boundless Sociology. Boundless, 21 Jul. 2015. Retrieved 13 Mar. 2016 from https://www.boundless.com/sociology/textbooks/boundless-sociology-textbook/stratification-inequality-and-social-class-in-the-u-s-9/social-mobility-76/social-mobility-in-the-u-s-453-9612/

Social Mobility

Social mobility is the ability to move from one social class in society to another. For example, from poor to middle class, middle class to rich, things of the sort. Social mobility has always existed in America. As so long that there is order and boundaries which hold us by certain limitations, we will always stand at different points in life. In the olden times, there was a such thing as the mandate of heaven, stating that those who were born to the throne received such a privilege from god himself. Others who were less fortunate and who were born into less wealthy or even poor families had to remain in the same social fields for the rest of their lives. Today, I feel we are much more privileged to have such a flexible society, I feel  that we are undaunted by the limits of which were destined and foretold by our ancestors.  We live in a society where you are the dictator of your future. Our place in society doesn’t necessarily have to be because of financial problems however. There have also been social problems derived from stereotypical aspects. Women for example, have fallen victim to social discrimination since ancient times. Women have also been seen as weak or unworthy of certain task, stereotypes are mostly the reason of this. Women are usually seen as people who are to just sit at home, do chores, and watch the children and  as a result of this when they try to make moves to become something greater and increase their social status, they are often laughed at.