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Dreams Deferred

            Dreams and illusions can cause people to become lost in false hopes. Some dreams come true and others do not. In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun and Arthur Miller's The Death of a Salesman, two characters, Walter Lee and Willy Loman have dreams of supporting their families by themselves but things do not turn out the way they expect.
             Throughout the play, A Raisin in the Sun, Walter Lee provides an everyman perspective of the mid- twentieth-century African-American male. He is the typical man of the family who struggles to support it and who tries to discover new, better schemes to secure its economic prosperity. Difficulties and barriers that obstruct his and his family's progress to attain that prosperity constantly frustrate Walter. He believes that money will solve all of their problems, but he is rarely successful with money. Walter often fights and argues with Ruth, Mama, and Beneatha. Far from being a good listener, he does not seem to understand that he must pay attention to his family members' concerns in order to help them. Eventually, he realizes that he cannot raise the family up from poverty alone, and he seeks strength in uniting with his family. Once he begins to listen to Mama and Ruth express their dreams of owning a house, he realizes that buying the house is more important for the family's welfare than getting rich quickly. Walter finally becomes a man when he stands up to Mr. Lindner and refuses the money that Mr. Linder offers the family not to move in to its dream house in a white neighborhood. .
             Willly Loman, from The Death of a Salesman, is an elderly salesman lost in false hopes and illusions. The sales firm he works for no longer pays him salary. Working on straight commission, Willy cannot bring home enough money to pay his bills. After thirty-four years with the firm, they have spent his energy and discarded him. Willy's sons, Biff and Happy, are also failures, but Willy doesn't want to believe this.

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