A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Essay by mikemcmenamy May 2005

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A Raisin in the Sun

In the play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, the protagonist Walter wants the ten thousand dollars of insurance money from his father's death. He wants it so he can fulfill his dream of owning a liquor store. His mother does not give him the money. There are three reasons why she does not give him the money. To begin with, she does not believe in drinking. Secondly, she had planned to use the money for Beneatha's education. The last reason is that she wants to buy a new house for her family. Walter responds unpleasantly to this, declaring that Mama has destroyed his dream. Eventually, he realizes other people have dreams too and it was at that point when he loses his selfishness.

Walter shows us that change is important. His ambitions are all materialistic; he would do anything to have charge of enough money to open a liquor store.

His dreams change Walter into a greedy, corrupt person. Walter, for a majority of the play, is insatiable in his desire for money and for the finer things in life. His materialism is almost the downfall of the family.

The main event that forced Walter to change was when Mama entrusts him with $6,500 and stern instructions to put $3,000 away for Beneatha's medical education, Walter still lets his greed get the better of him, and squanders the money on a venture that never took off, because of another man's theft.

It is only at the end of the play do we finally see Walter begin to mature and show some responsibility for both his actions and his family. He refuses the offer from Mr. Linder to reconsider moving into their all-white neighborhood and plans to...

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