The three characters I’m going to analyze are Walter Lee, Lena and Beneatha Younger. The three of them all have very different life goals and dreams that get deferred for various reasons. Mama, Lena Younger, gets a big check after her husband passing and this creates a lot of tension, as money only goes so far with their current life situations and their big dreams. Lorraine Hansberry, the writer of Raisin in the Sun, got the title from Langston Hughes’ poem “Harlem” which reads,
“What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up / like a raisin in the sun… Or does it explode?” (1768).
Walter Lee Younger doesn’t want to live the life he is living. He has big goals and dreams and doesn’t feel fulfilled by his current job of being a driver nor his living situation in a rundown home with his big family. Mama gets a check for ten-thousand dollars and he sees this as an opportunity to make his dreams come truly, regardless of the fact that it’s Mama’s money and there a family of five to support. “You see, this little liquor store we got in mind cost seventy-five thousand dollars and we figured the initial investment on the place be ‘bout thirty thousand, see. That be ten thousand each. Course, there’s a couple of hundred you got to pay so you don’t spend your life just waiting for them clowns to let your license get approved…” (1776). Walter says, with Ruth constantly cutting him off and turning down his dream, however unrealistic. “Man say to his woman: I got me a dream. His woman says: Eat your eggs”.
Later, Mama puts her needs last, again, and tells Walter that he may take the money, put some aside for Beneatha’s schooling and go ahead with his dreams. Walter is ecstatic and trusts his friend to take his money and make the investment. This results in his “friend” running off with the money, all of it. Walter did not put any aside for Beneatha’s school and Walter leaves his family disappointed.
Beneatha Younger lives in her mother’s home with her brother and his family. If Beneatha were white and living in a different time, her goals of becoming a doctor wouldn’t be unrealistic. She’s living in a time where it’s not common for females to be doctors and even more so, black females. Beneatha, as well as Mama, sees that ten-thousand dollar check as helping put her through school and fulfill what she believes to be her life’s purpose. She doesn’t ask for Mama’s money like Walter does, though. Another view of Beneatha’s that isn’t in line with her families is that she isn’t looking to marry for money, she wants to marry for love. Her mother sees that a wealthy man has interested in her and is beside herself since Beneatha isn’t interested. Beneatha wants to be a strong independent woman, and even if a wealthy man can help her to her dreams of being a doctor, she must do it herself. Later, Beneatha tells her family that she is going to pursue all her dreams by moving to Africa with Asagai. She is going to marry him...