A Raisin in the Sun: Beneatha’s Dreams

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There is a quote that says “When you take things for granted, the things you are granted get taken” and in the play A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, Beneatha takes things for granted but she also is successful. Beneatha is the only family member who has been college-educated, and she knows what she wants and how to get it. Beneatha is an intellectual, who brings politics and civil rights into the apartment, eager to be discussed.

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However, her hardworking family that is more concerned with money gives Beneatha no time to reveal her true potential. Beneatha and her dialogue comes across as somewhat ungrateful and self-centered What do you want from me, Brother- that I quit school or just drop dead, which? (page 19). Beneatha is working to fulfill her dream of being a doctor, a job that was considered not fit for her status during the play’s time period. The reason behind Beneatha’s dream is where she remembers a childhood friend splitting his head open after a sledding accident. This fascination with making people whole again is the root of Beneatha’s struggles with her family.

The profession of a doctor is what Beneatha believes is mankind’s strongest evidence to prove that they can change the world. She wants to accomplish things all by herself causes Beneatha to criticize God for taking the credit. Beneatha expects her family to pay for her medical school, but does not bother to ask if she needs a job. She is arrogant in the way she refuses to acknowledge the family’s setbacks, and distances herself from the reality that her future is limited. Beneatha and her brother share this common trait of putting money above other things, although Beneatha does this much more secretly, she takes Mama for granted because of all the money they got and when she finds out what Walter did with the money she gave up on her dreams. Beneatha doesn’t ask for Mama to pay for her tuition, but rather pressures Mama to do so by expressing the importance of being a doctor and women in the workforce. It is my business- where is he going to live? On the roof?(page 58) Beneatha feels threatened by the younger members of the family, cause Ruth is pregnant. Beneatha has the setback of the money going to her schooling when Walter spends it, but even though he spent it she still is college educated. She finally realizes that what she had taken for granted was taken from her and her family, when Walter gave the money away to open the liquor store. Beneatha can still go and finish college and become the doctor she wants to become but she doesn’t know if she will have the money. Even though after the play we don’t know what Beneatha does exactly, but we can predict that she decides to go back and finish school because why should Beneatha end something that she is so far in already.

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