As the main provider of the family, Walter turns out to be both the protagonist and antagonist of the play. The fate of his family is in his hands, and his failed attempts at success cause many of the problems in the play, such as their financial poverty and his investment into a business, which didn’t work out as his “partner ran off with the money. Walter ultimately ends up being the antagonist, though, as he realizes that his failures have hurt not only himself, but his family also.
In the resolution of the play, Walter redeems myself as the man of the family and the antagonist, fighting his own wrongs, faults, and weaknesses (for money and material success) when he rejects the high cash offer to not move into Mama’s dream house located in a predominantly white neighborhood. To balance out Walter’s instabilities and craziness, Mama stands to be the voice of reason throughout the play and base that supports her family. During all of the other characters trials and tribulations, Mama is there to remind them that they are cared for and how they can or should better their situation.
Mama seeks the right in every wrong tuition and encourages other characters to do the most moral and ethical thing. Her loving and understanding demeanor supports the theme in the play of the importance of family, and she is in fact the glue that holds the Younger family together. There is a severe contrast between Mama and her son Walter, as we see that what is most important to him (money) holds no true value to Mama, as all that she wants is a home for her family. Beneath in the play is the odd member of the family, going against the grain and standards of what her family has succumbed to; a life of poverty and lack of DOD education.
Though living in poverty, Beneath has thriving dreams of making something more out of her life than what her brother has accomplished. She carries herself as a wealthy woman, even going as far as having straight hair (in resemblance to the ‘White Woman”, as pointed out by Sagas. ) Going to college to become a doctor, Beneath has a strong sense of independence and free will about her. Through dating two men over the course of the play, though, Beneath realizes through the eyes of Sagas that she in fact is not as independent as she originally viewed herself.
This point is a climax in the play, as this realization largely changes Beneath demeanor and pushes her to be successful without having that dependence and reliance on others or her deceased father’s insurance money. Most important though is the title of the play itself. “A Raisin in the Sun” is taken from the poem “A Dream Deferred” written by Longs Hughes. The poem is based around the idea of ‘What happens to dream deferred? ” It explores the different possibilities of what form this unfulfilled dream might take, comparing it to a again left out in the sun to fester and rot.
This is symbolically extremely important in relevance to the play, as the raisin in question figuratively represents each of the family member’s dreams. Walter’s dream in comparison to the raisin would be described as shriveled up. His dream of becoming rich has been shot down many times, and the pressure and disappointment in the outcome of his delayed dream causes him to not only push himself to achieve it more, but in a more distasteful manner (by investing money wildly/recklessly), it also became the cause of emotional train within his family.
A particular instance is between Walter and his wife’s relationship. Their relationship became so distant that she even felt ignored, and he did not even know that she was pregnant or that she was planning an abortion. On the other hand though, Mama’s dream of having a home and better life for her family did not fester as Walter’s did. Her raisin (dream) “crusted and sugared over- like a syrupy sweet. ” Through her many years of living in poverty, she always held onto her dream off better life, as it was hat her late husband and herself worked their whole lives towards.
She never rushed it, because Mama knew that in due time, her dream would come. She never lost faith in finding that better life and home with a flower garden. She imagined this home and life for herself and her family early in her life, but until she was TABLE to achieve it, it slowly and sweetly glazed over; encasing her dream is a sweetness that was desirTABLE and tasteful. Her dream would come, but would be even more rewarding over time than it was when she imagined it. Ultimately, Mama’s dream was fulfilled when she Ovid into the house in the white neighborhood with her dream garden.
While living in the apartment, Mama was constantly tending to a plant in the windowsill. This is foreshadowing a small glimmer of hope that she held onto representing her bigger dream of living in a home where she could have not only one small plant in a windowsill, but a garden of plants, uncontaminated by a pot, free to grow wild in the soil; A freedom that strongly was sought after by the Younger family, who were ready to be free of their containments, poverty, and racial inequality.