"A Raisin in the Sun"
This drama is about the Younger family's struggle to achieve the American
dream. The story hinges around a life insurance policy payment of ten thousand dollars
that has been left to Mrs. Lena Younger, also known as Mama, due to her husband's
untimely and early death. When the play opens the extended family is shown living in a
cramped, bug infested apartment in a run-down section of Chicago. Everyone is on edge
expecting the delivery of the life insurance check and everyone has plans for how he is
going to spend that money. Walter Lee Younger, Mama's son, is a chauffeur for a white
man. He yearns to start his own business and has discussed starting a liquor store
enterprise with two other African American men, Bobo and Willy. Beneatha Younger,
Mama's daughter and Walter's sister, wouldn't mind if her mother helped to finance her
dream to become a doctor.
Beneatha has two beaus-one a rich American named George Murchison and the
other an African named Joseph Asagai. Beneatha is attending college and she has
already started to question the values of George who has sold out to the white man by
going after the American dream. Joseph helps Beneatha begin the search for her identity
and African roots.
Ruth Younger, Walter Lee's wife, is pregnant with her second child and is
unhappy with her husband's irresponsible behavior and drunken episodes. She loves her
husband but is powerless to help Walter find his way back to her. Mama trusts Ruth's
moral compass more than she does that of her own children.
Mama, a devoutly religious woman, does not approve of Walter's scheme to open
a liquor store. Walter, an insufferable lout at the beginning of the play, whines and
complains that his...