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A Raisin In The Sun Essay

1682 words - 7 pages

A Raisin in the SunWalter Lee Younger, one of the characters in Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun, is an example of what happens when an individual loses sight of what is important in life. The relationship between Walter and his family, his personal struggle with his dream of success, and his lack of pride and dignity are examples of obstacles he has to overcome to learn and understand what it takes to be a man. Walter progresses from a selfish individual who is obsessed with his dreams of success to a proud man who realizes the real value of money and family.Walter is a man who is misunderstood by his family. He feels surrounded by dominating women who cannot see his dreams of success as anything more than being dreams. Walter says, "That is just what is wrong with the colored woman in this world"¦Don't understand about building their men up and making "˜em feel like they somebody like they can do something" (Hansberry 34). As a result of this lack of support Walter's already weak confidence begins to decrease even more and leaves him frustrated with his family. As Walter's dreams of fortune and success grow, he seems to neglect the more important things in his life, such as his family. "Here I am a giant surrounded by ants! Ants who can't even understand what it is the giant is talking about" (85). This statement exemplifies how Walter is misunderstood by the rest of his family. He describes himself as an individual who has big dreams and aspires for greater things in life. Walter describes the rest of his family as people who are content with having goals and dreams that are small and insignificant compared to his. The consequences of this misunderstanding cause a huge strain on the relationship between Walter and his family.Walter is becoming increasingly distant from his family. He says to his wife, "On account of you and me, you mean? The way things are with us. The way something done come down between us" (88). What has come between them is Walter's dream and the rest of his family. This distance causes his role as the man of the household to decrease. Walter is becoming obsessed with his dream and it allows it to take over his life. Walter sulks and does not go to work for a few days after his mother refuses to loan him the money for the liquor store. His immature behavior is a reflection of his lack of responsibility as a father and a husband. Walter's wife Ruth says, "She said Mr. Arnold has had to take a cab for three days"¦Walter, you ain't been to work for three days! Where you been, Walter Lee Younger? You're going to lose your job" (105). He has become absorbed with his dream that he has forgotten about the obligations he still has to his family.Walter's spirit and hope is revived after Mama gives him some money, but this life that he has now been energized with is one of selfishness. Walter exhibits a great deal of irresponsibility and selfishness after he loses not only the money that Mama gives...

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