Many of the characters in this play have dreams that they would like to fulfill. Mama’s dream is to own a big house with a yard for her grandchild to play in. She thinks that by moving to a bigger and better place, the family will become more motivated. Ruth’s dream is very similar to Mama’s in that she wants to move into a better place, but she wants it more for her son, Travis, because she wants to raise him in a better environment. Beneatha’s dream is to become a doctor. She believes this will break the stereotypes of African American people, and hopefully discourage some of the racism that she experiences towards her race. Walter’s dream is to become rich, and provide for his family what he never had growing up. All of these people’s dreams are for the better, but with the introduction of money, their dreams could become a reality.
Mama’s dream is deferred because she does not have the money to purchase a larger house in a better neighborhood. This desire gives her an incentive to earn money, but she and her husband could not pull together the requested currency in order to make this desire a possibility. Only when her husband dies and leaves a $10,000 insurance claim does her chance come to realize her dream.
Ruth’s dream is to have a happier, healthier family so her son, Travis,
can have a proper upbringing. This dream is deferred because she currently lives in a cramped apartment with the only sleeping place for her son being the couch, and with arguments between her family members being a daily occurrence. She believes that buying the new house and moving out of their cramped situation will create a more suitable environment for her son.
Beneatha’s dream is to become a doctor. Her dream is deferred when Walter “invests” most of the insurance money with Willy Harris in order to create a liquor store. Unfortunately for Beneatha, it becomes exponentially more difficult for her to attain the education she need in order to become a doctor. She also exemplifies the dream of all women at this time period. Women were expected to stay at home and take care of the family instead of go after a career and make money. Beneatha wanted to be an example for all of the women around her of how women can succeed if they put their mind to it.
Walter’s dream is to become rich and give his family all of the fancy
pleasures that he never had growing up. He tries to make his dream a reality when he invests the insurance money with Willy Harris into a liquor store. His dream is deferred because Willy ends up running off with the money, and leaves Walter broke and unhappy. Maybe the change of scenery that happens after the play will inspire Walter to go after a more lucrative career, and fulfill his dream of providing for his family.