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Raisin In The Sun, Characterization Of Walter And Mama Sophomore English Essay

1266 words - 6 pages

Harmon
Jaren Harmon
Ms. Sanders
September, 10th 2017
Period 7
A Raisin in the Sun
The Journey Of A Dehydrated Grape
All families will go through hardships in their time together. Lorraine Hansberry while
writing “A Raisin in the sun” about the social problems with America found that families are
going through the same problem. Hansberry wasn’t just writing about a black family, but a
problem that every family in America has and will always have. She saw how with each
generation, there will be a change in the way they think. They get enlightened in a way and think
of things from a completely different angle. She shows this with the characterization of Walter
and Mama.
Walter, a man in his thirties who drives as a chauffeur, his son, wife, mother, and sister
all live in a small damp apartment. Walter looks around and sees all of these rich white men
walking around with their extravagant clothes and beautiful ornate houses while he works twice
as hard and gets not even a fraction of what they get. He says “Mama sometimes when I’m
downtown and I pass them cool-quiet-looking restaurants where them white boys are sitting back
and talking ‘bout things…sitting there turning deals worth millions of dollars…sometimes I see
guys don’t look much older than me” (Hansberry 226). Walter thinks he sees an opportunity
where he might be able to change the future of his family. Eventually, he learns that like him
Harmon
everyone else in the whole family has an idea of what they want to do with that money. He
explodes at mom and says “Do you know what this money means to me? Do you know what this
money can do for us?” (220). Walter believes that in order to become rich you have to take a big
risk in order to get what you want. This is a very materialistic view, that money is the most
important thing in the world even more than freedom. When Walter gets his chance to bet in the
big lottery machine of life he ends up coming dry and losing all of the families money.
Lena, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of Walter. She does not share this
materialistic view of the world. Lena grew up in completely different time from the 1950’s.
Lena worked every day alongside her Walter Sr and worked her hand to the bone and all she
wanted was to live the all American life: “Big Walter used to say, he’d get right wet in the eyes
sometimes, lean his head back with the water standing in his eyes and say, Seem like God didn’t
see fit to give the black man nothing but dreams but He did give us children to make them
dreams seem worthwhile” (206). She saw the rising of freedoms and how slavery was not
acceptable anymore. When Lena grew up she was told that was always looking to high this
shows that at one time when she was younger she shared a more materialistic view as Walter:
“You needs to slow down and see life a little more like it is. Just slow down some.” That’s what
they always used to say down home–“Lord, that Lena Eggleston is a high-minded thing. She’ll
get her due...

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