Let Freedom Ring (Raisin In the Sun Essay)

The novel Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and the famous speech of the brilliant Martin Luther King Jr., “I Have a Dream” both display the strength and pride of African Americans during the discrimination and segregation era in the 1960’s. In the novel the characters are suffering poverty and most importantly discrimination, as did Martin Luther King Jr. and all of the African American.  Both pieces express the admiration of the American Dream by the African Americans at that time.  Also, they both provide the dream of their children and the future generation to be more successful and free. Finally, the most obvious similarity is the character’s and Mr.King’s strive and bravery in trying to stand up for for themselves and following their dreams.  In the end of the novel the Younger family achieve their goal in which they moved to the neighborhood they wanted to live in.  Even though they had to face discrimination and racism, they proceeded to do what they had a right to do.  In the end, although Martin Luther King Jr. did not live to see it, his dream was reached and African Americans became equal with the rest of Americans.

The main similarity between Raisin in the Sun and Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech was the main idea and the goal to reach the American Dream. In the novel Walter had a strong desire to have a better job and to support his family for them to really succeed.  He did not want his race to interfere with his dream, and did not think it would. The whole Younger family wanted to move from a small, run-down house to a beautiful, new neighborhood. In Mr. King’s speech the American Dream is evidently displayed in the line, “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream.” It is showing that even though the African Americans have to face challenges, they must be strong and persevere to obtain the American Dream.

Another point that is very important to Martin Luther King Jr. and in the novel, is the aspiration to have a better future generation. In the novel, there is a young boy, Travis. His father, Walter, is willing to do anything to help his son have a more successful life than he led. One of the main reasons that the Younger family wanted to move to a nicer neighborhood, is because they wanted Travis to have more opportunities than they did. Also, even though they cannot control it, the Travis’ ancestors want him to live a more free and a less discriminatory life. This point is shown in the speech Martin Luther King Jr. declares, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” This theme of future generation is even displayed in the title of the speech! When Mr.King says “I have a dream”, he is dreaming about the future generation. He wants all people to be equal and freedom to every single American. The dream of the future generation was a significant idea during the 1960s in America.

The finally key similarity between the novel and the speech is the bravery and perseverance of the African Americans during the period of segregation and discrimination. Throughout the novel the Younger family is denied and rejected from many things because of their race. For example, when the Youngers find the house they want to move to they find out it is in an all white area. They did not care, and payed for it. A couple days before they were moving, the owner of their future neighborhood, Mr.Lindner, asked them not to move there. Even though they would have gotten their money back, the Youngers were brave enough to not let the discrimination faze them. That showed the strength and courage they had for their family to succeed. For Martin Luther King Jr. the action that showed the most bravery and perseverance was just him even doing the speech. During that time it was unheard of for an African American to stand up or be as smart as he was. He was one of the few to speak out for his people for freedom, along with Rosa Parks. He shows the most bravery and influence any African American showed in history.

Both Raisin in the Sun and Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech revolve around the American Dream. They show the aspects and key elements to how to achieve it. They both show the strength, bravery, and strive many black people had to gain freedom and anti-racism. The youngers hoped to buy a new house and start a better future for their children, while Martin Luther King Jr. hoped for a future with no segregation or racism. They both wanted a better future for their children. The both had a dream, and both of their dreams came true. They are free at last!


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