In the beginning of the play, the conditions of living, as described by the house is striking. In addition to this, Walter Lee's irresponsible nature makes a reader anticipate some kind of change, to alter the balance. Moreover, when Joseph Asagai visits the Youngers' house, they are in the midst of cleaning up. This point is the fulcrum, since after this point, the 'process of cleaning' is geared up towards change.
At the end of the play, we see that the family is all set to move into a new house in Clybourne Park, which is symbolic of a change in the physical environment. In addition to this, Beneatha's life undergoes a change, since she chooses Asagai over Murchison, though it was an expected action. Moreover, the biggest change is seen in Walter Lee's character, which becomes a round character by the end of the play. The character undergoes an internal change and this is evident when Walter Lee stands up for his family and their principles. Consider the following dialogue spoken by Mama, "Oh-So now it's life. Money is life. Once upon a time freedom used to be life-now it's money. I guess the world really do change ." Thus, Change can rightly be called one of the themes of the play.
Another major theme of the play is the concept of 'dream'. ...
Mama's dream is to buy a comfortable house in an all-white locality, while Walter Lee's dream is to get into business. Ruth is an independent intelligent girl, who wants to steer clear of all the Americanisation, and get in touch with her African roots. Mama is scheduled to get the pension amount, and every member of the family has their own dreams, of what to make of the money.
The plant that Mama nurtures and tends to, with so much love and care, is symbolic of the dream she nurtures. The dream is a dream she and her late husband had envisaged and dreamt of fulfilling. Hence, she clings on to the memories of her husband and the dream they jointly envisaged. The tending to the plant is symbolic of the fact that one simply cannot dream and stop at just that. One needs to realize those dreams, since it is in one's own hands to translate dreams into reality.
The other conspicuous theme in the play, is that of racial discrimination. The very fact that Lorraine Hansberry has used primarily 'Black' characters, is to reinforce this theme. She portrays the day-to-day struggles of the Afro-American community, by using the Younger family as the central focus. The impoverished conditions of living, lack of a good job, inability to realize one's dreams, are some of the aspects she reflects on. In fact, the reader feels sympathetic, as the playwright invokes pathos, by portraying Ruth's inability to bear the child, because of a poor financial condition. This really moves the reader.
However, as the play progresses, Hansberry does not stop at portraying their discriminated condition. She goes on to show that there is light at the end of a dark tunnel. She shows how, being perseverant can help stride over discrimination. The manner in which the