A Raisin in the Sun is a story of an African American family living in the South Side of Chicago. Their home consists of two bedrooms and they share a bathroom with the neighbors. Mama, or Lena, is the head of the household and is very christain. The play is centered around the family receiving a check for ten thousand dollars from Mr. Younger’s life insurance policy. Each member in the family has there own preference on how to use the money but ultimately, it is utilized in a way that benefits the whole family. Walter is an example of a character that goes through major changes in the play. He is the son of Mama and is married to Ruth. Walter struggles to discover ways to support the family and often fights with Ruth and Mama. He is portrayed as a selfish man and a dreamer throughout the book. Walter changes in A Raisin in the Sun by losing his selfishness, realizing that money isn’t everything, and setting an example for his family. This helps develop a theme of the value of dreams and the importance of a family.
Walter goes through a change in the play when he loses his selfish attitude. When the family was given the insurance money, Walter expected his mother to let him have complete control of the money. His plan was to open up a liquor store with his friends in order to be successful and get rich. The quote states,“No! Cause ain’t nobody with me! Not even my own mother”(Act 2 Scene1). The dialogue shows Walter’s frustration with his family when they do not understand his approach for the liquor store. He desperately wants them to support his idea and doesn’t handle it well when they don’t. Mama’s order was to keep $3,500 for himself and put the other $3,000 toward Beneatha’s medical school. He was selfish and unwise when he invested the money with a businessman who ran off. Walter changed when he finally realized that having pride in oneself and one’s race is more important than being rich.Walter stands up against the Mr. Linder by putting pride before money, to truly become the man of the family This help connects to the value of dreams. Each family member struggles to achieve their dreams throughout the play and that influences the way they act. They ultimately learn that the dream of a house is the most significant dream because it unites the family.
Another change that occurred throughout the text was when Walter realized that money wasn’t everything. As a hardworking man, Walter worked as a chauffeur everyday to support his family. He believed that happiness and money were linked together. The text voices, “Oh – So now it’s life. Money is life. Once upon a time freedom used to be life – now it’s money. I guess the world really do change “(Act 1 Scene2). This quote conveys that Walter isn’t grateful for what he has. It informs readers that Mama reasoned being free as a blessing.
Nevertheless, Walter believed being a free man didn’t help his struggle. To him, the goal is to make money and move up the socioeconomic ladder. Because he can’t do these things, he is frustrated that he isn’t the financial provider for his family. This takes a toll on his confidence. By refusing to sell the home, Walter illustrates that money does not mean as much as it once did to him. He realized that the family benefited more buying a house for its well being than getting rich quickly. This supports the theme of the importance of family. Walter and the Younger family were faced with difficulties that separated themselves from one another. They managed to stick together.