A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry is a play about the Youngers, a poor black family living in the south side of Chicago. They all have dreams and aspirations. In some cases, their dream is so powerful that it is about to explode and in other cases, they let their dream lay dormant, but every member of the family does have a dream. In the play A Raisin in the Sun, Walter, Beneatha and Mama are dreaming about a better life in the future; through the achievement and failure of their dreams the characters grow.
Walter has always wanted to be rich, not only to be rich but to be successful and to have the respect of a successful man. Walter works for a rich, old white man. Walter feels that by making money and being rich, he will be able to afford a better house, wear better clothing, and send his children to better schools. Ultimately, to have a better life than the one he has now. To accomplish this, Walter works his job and invests his mother’s insurance money in a liquor business hoping to make a lot of money. He is so determined, that he even steals his sister, Beneatha’s portion of the insurance money and invests it also. In the end, Willy Harris, runs off with the insurance money and all of the other investments.
Mama’s dream is to own a house with a garden, but she allows her dream to be differed for the good of her family. Mama has a small plant that she keeps in her window. The plant is raggedy but Mama waters it and tends to it and it seems to represent to Mama, her children’s dreams. Even though she didn’t give them much, they, like the plant grew. Mama realizes her dream by taking part of her insurance money and putting a down payment on a house in Clyborne Park, an all white neighborhood. When the family hears this, they get nervous because there have been attacks on colored people in white neighborhoods. A representative from the neighborhood comes and offers to buy the house back from them but Mama refuses to give up on her dream.
Beneatha, Mama’s daughter and Walter’s sister, is strong willed and more educated than the rest of her family. She wants to find her identity and dreams about going to medical school and becoming a doctor. Beneatha is an atheist who feels that doctors have the divine power to save lives and she wants it. She works hard in school and gets good grades. Beneatha talks to
a transfer student from Africa, Asagai, about Africa and going back to find her roots. In the end, we see Beneatha stays at home and we are left not knowing whether she attendee medical school or not.
In A Raisin in the Sun, Walter, Beneatha and Mama are Dreaming of a better life in the future and through the achievement or failure of their dreams, the characters grow.