Term Paper: Sons Arthur's View of America

Pages: 10 (2508 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] In the days when the play was written, it was common knowledge that a lot of the postwar fortune was being made illicitly. But people did not want to talk about the back door methods because they wanted to enjoy the affluence and abundance and their family life. They did not want to get into confrontations and conflicts. And hence they believed in the principle of pragmatism. But that also meant avoiding responsibility in the name of being practical. This is what the whole play is about.

Raisin in the SUN

Money may be the source of all evils but sometimes even a small conflict over money can help bring families together. In Raisin in the Sun, we see how a family's love for one another is tested during a difficult period and how when an "enemy" tries to break their resolve, they use their strength to come together as one strong family unit. This novel shows that money may be important, but family always comes first and a family's true love for each other is tested when an outsider tries to break them apart. Raisin in the Sun is a story with multiple themes and a simple structure. The themes however all correlate to just one topic i.e. The triumph of human dignity over circumstances. The story revolves around the rather complicated decision of using $10,000 in a way that would help everyone realize their dreams. The Younger family is torn with the decision about how to best use the amount that Mama is likely to receive as insurance money soon. The mother wants to move to white neighborhood, the son wants to invest in business, the daughter wants to study in a decent college to become a doctor and hence their dreams collide with each other and various issues arise.

The themes of human dignity and right to dream are the most dominant ones in the story as we see how the Youngers fight for their dreams and in the end decides to move to the white neighborhood even when they are offered money to stay where they are. It was a complex decision because while Mama wanted to move, she knew that moving to a white neighborhood would be a challenge since the new area might not accept a black family and this could create problems and cause embarrassment. Walter needed the money for his liquor store idea. Beneatha feels that money should be used for her education. These conflicting dreams cause problems and make each test the strength of their love for each other and also test the strength of their own dreams and beliefs.

Walter believes that money should be his because he wants to give his son something more than stories of rich people, "I have been married eleven years and I got a boy who sleeps in the living room -- and all I got to give him is stories about how rich white people live…" p. 34 Mama wanted to move to a new house and believed that their own house would be the best choice for all of them: "It's just a plain little old house -- but it's made good and solid -- and it will be ours. Walter Lee -- it makes a difference in a man when he can walk on floors that belong to him…" p.92

Walter and others believe that Mama would do whatever she wants to do regardless of what others want because they find her very controlling and domineering. Walter thinks that Mama who talks of everyone's dreams has killed his by buying a house instead of allowing him to use the money for liquor store: You run our lives like you want to. It was your money and you did what you wanted with it. So what you need me to say it was all right for? So you butchered up a dream of mine -- you -- who always talking 'bout your children's dreams." P. 94, 95

The test of their spirit and their dignity comes when they are offered money by a white man to not move to their neighborhood. This one offer brings the whole family together as they ponder the offer and the consequences of refusing or accepting it. That is when they decide that taking the risky step of moving to a white neighborhood would be the most dignified thing to do because they were all equal and they had to prove that by taking this step and that is when Walter says something exceptionally precious to the white man:

"…We come from people who had a lot of pride. I mean -- we are very proud people. And that's my sister over there and she's going to be a doctor -- and we are very proud-- & #8230;What I am telling you is that we called you over here to tell you that we are very proud and that this -- Travis, come here. This is my son, and he makes the sixth generation our family in this country. And he have all thought about your offer & #8230; and we have decided to move into our house because me father -- my father -- he earned it for us brick by brick. We don't want to make no trouble for nobody or fight no causes, and we will try to be good neighbors. And that's all we got to say about that. We don't want your money." P. 148

The story ends with the family finally deciding to take the major leap and move to a white neighborhood. It is when an outsider wants them to waver that they find how strong they are as a family and how much they want the same thing and their conflicts were only temporary in nature. Love is thus far more permanent than money and it is only through outside intervention that we sometimes realize the importance of family.


Miller, Arthur. All… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Sons Arthur's View of America.  (2012, June 22).  Retrieved July 15, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sons-arthur-view-america/2694607

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"Sons Arthur's View of America."  Essaytown.com.  June 22, 2012.  Accessed July 15, 2019.