In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, the author uses the African American Younger family to represent a struggle for the pursuit of the American Dream. For some 230 years, the slogans of America have been "the land of the free" and "liberty and justice for all," but the Younger family quickly demonstrates, like the generations of slavery and injustices in civil rights before them, that the "American Dream" is not all what it is cracked up to be. Upon the death of their father, the family eagerly awaits his insurance check, as they continue to struggle in their life of hardships on the Southside of Chicago. Each family member has a specific dream and wishes to gain for themselves a better life, by and large, keeping happiness as a family. In A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry uses the main characters and their dreams as a means of demonstrating a pursuit for the American Dream. He illuminates this through the dreams of Mama, Benethea, and Walter. .
Lorraine Hansberry uses the character of Mama and her dream of buying a home as a way to demonstrate her desire for the American Dream. Class status in the United States has long been viewed as a "separator" between both racial and the rich and poor groups. While not becoming rich, Mama views the move as being beneficial to both her and the family, for it will enable her to live out her husband's dream of buying a house after he had "worked himself to death" (45), and the fact that it would allow them to escape the "rat trap" (45) is good news for the family for it enables them to lead more prosperous lives. Mama knows that the only way that will make the family come together and unite will be this house, for it will benefit the entire family, not just one person, like Walter's would. The fact that Mama's plan to buy the house is an attempt to let the family seek out the American Dream. This demonstrates her character as a leader, for it is her desire to better not only her life, but the life of her family that she and her husband had worked so hard for.