Material Values in A Raisin in the Sun An individual’s thoughts as well as actions will be influenced by the goals and other ambitious dreams; he/she is pursuing. The play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry portrays how the members of an African American family, the Youngers have different goals and dreams and how they struggle to achieve those dreams holding on to their positive values…
Walter Younger, the son of the family, was portrayed as the one who is always after money, so he can invest in business and emerge successful. “No—it was always money, Mama. We just didn't know about it.” (Hansberry 34). Although, he has noble target of achieving success, his path to achieve that by mainly going for money even while hurting others, makes him a kind of antagonist of the story. However, Walter towards the end of the play realizes his mistake and transforms into a supportive figure and even the protagonist. He emerges as the central character, and fully supports his family as they wish to own a large house in a developed area. When the Youngers buy an independent house in a predominant white locality of Clybourne Park, they were dissuaded by the White people residing there. One of the men from that group, Mr. Lindner, on behalf of the other white people, even goes to the extend of bribing the Youngers to prevent them from moving into the Clybourne Park. The whole Younger family is struggling financially, but still they refuse to accept the money. Although Walter loses majority of the insurance money because of the cheating by one of his friends, he stands up for his family’s wishes and refuses to accepts the money. Walter believes that buying and living in that particular house as wished by his father will provide him more honor than acquiring material values. If the Youngers’ family had received money from Mr. Lindner, the dreams of each family member would have actualized but that would at the cost of values. Mama, the matriarch of the family, firmly refuses the money. “…nobody in my family never let nobody pay'em no money that was a way of telling us we wasn't fit to walk the earth...We ain't never been that - dead inside” (Hansberry 34). The refusal of the Youngers’ to accept money even when they needed it and thus holding on to their house, exhibits how they hold self-worth and honor more dearer than material wealth. Walter loses the insurance money, after his friend Willy Harris escapes somewhere with the money provided by Walter for their business initiative to set up a liquor store. Although he failed personally, he learns quick lessons and understands that achievement of his family’s dream particularly of his dead father could give more satisfaction than the achievement of his personal dream. Walter believes that the new house was indirectly earned by his father through his insurance money for them, “We have decided to move into our house because my father—my father—he earned it for us brick by brick.” (Hansberry 37). Thus, he puts optimum efforts, even avoiding the temptation of easy money, to buy and stay in the house of their choice. Youngers’ family is aware of the fact that if they reside in Clybourne Park, they could face numerous race related problems from the white people, who reside there. For their part, they gave the commitment that they would have good relationship with the neighbors, without taking any racial stance. “We don't want to make no trouble for nobody or fight no causes, and we will try to be good neighbors. And that's all we got to say about that. We don't want your money.” (Hansberry 37). However they continue with their decision to ...
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