Ruth's Dream in a Raisin in The Sun

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About this sample


Words: 650 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 650|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” These lines from Langston Hughes’ poem “Harlem” serve as a haunting question that resonates throughout Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin In The Sun. One of the central characters, Ruth Younger, harbors her own dreams and aspirations amidst the struggles faced by her African American family in 1950s Chicago. This essay will explore Ruth’s dream and its significance in the play, highlighting the challenges she faces and the impact her dream has on the overall narrative. Through an analysis of Ruth’s character development, her interactions with other characters, and the implications of her dream, it becomes evident that Ruth’s dream is a crucial element that shapes the themes of family, identity, and hope in A Raisin In The Sun.

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Ruth’s dream of moving to a better neighborhood represents a glimmer of hope amidst the pervasive poverty and racial discrimination faced by her family. The dream serves as a symbol of upward mobility and a better future for her son, Travis. As evidenced by her conversation with her husband, Walter, Ruth’s dream is grounded in the belief that a change in living conditions can lead to a change in their lives. Hansberry uses Ruth’s dream to highlight the resilience and determination of African Americans in the face of adversity, emphasizing the power of hope to inspire action and transform lives.

Ruth’s dream is not solely individualistic; it is deeply intertwined with her role as a wife and mother. Her desire for a better home stems from her desire to provide a safer and more stable environment for her family. The cramped apartment they currently reside in symbolizes their limited opportunities and the lack of space for personal growth. Ruth’s dream, therefore, becomes a catalyst for change within the family, pushing them to confront their own dreams and aspirations. It serves as a unifying force that brings the Younger family together, as they work towards a common goal of achieving a better life.

Ruth’s dream is not without its challenges. As an African American woman in the 1950s, she faces numerous barriers and prejudices that threaten to shatter her dream. The discrimination she experiences in her workplace, coupled with the limited opportunities available to her, serve as constant reminders of the racial inequality prevalent in society. However, Ruth’s resilience and determination shine through as she persists in pursuing her dream despite these obstacles. Her unwavering spirit becomes a source of inspiration and empowerment, highlighting the strength of African American women in the face of adversity.

Ruth’s dream not only impacts her individual journey but also raises larger questions about the American Dream and its attainability for marginalized communities. Through Ruth’s character, Hansberry challenges the conventional notions of success and happiness, highlighting the limitations and injustices faced by African Americans. Ruth’s dream serves as a critique of a society that denies equal opportunities to certain groups based on race and socioeconomic status. By exploring the implications of Ruth’s dream, the play prompts the audience to reflect on their own aspirations and the barriers that may hinder their realization.

In conclusion, Ruth’s dream in A Raisin In The Sun serves as a powerful symbol of hope, family, and resistance. Her dream represents the aspirations of countless individuals who strive for a better life amidst societal challenges. Through Ruth’s character, Hansberry invites the audience to confront the racial inequality and injustices that persist in society, while also emphasizing the resilience and determination of African Americans. Ruth’s dream ignites a spark of hope that keeps the Younger family united and inspires them to pursue their own dreams. As Langston Hughes’ poem suggests, a dream deferred may wither, but Ruth’s dream in A Raisin In The Sun reminds us that it can also blossom and transform lives.


Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin In The Sun. Vintage Books, 1994.

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Hughes, Langston. “Harlem.” The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. Vintage Books, 1995.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Ruth’s Dream in A Raisin In The Sun. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Ruth’s Dream in A Raisin In The Sun.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
Ruth’s Dream in A Raisin In The Sun. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Ruth’s Dream in A Raisin In The Sun [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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