A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry, is a powerful play that explores themes of racism, identity, and the pursuit of dreams. The play follows the Younger family, who live in a small, crowded apartment on the South Side of Chicago. Walter Lee Younger, the main character, is a complex and ambitious man who grapples with his own desires and the challenges of being a black man in 1950s America.
Walter is driven by the hope of achieving financial success and providing a better life for his family. He dreams of starting his own business, using the insurance money received after his father’s death. As the play unfolds, we see Walter’s hopes and dreams clash with the realities of racism and societal limitations. His struggles and aspirations are reflected in a number of powerful quotes throughout the play.
“I want so many things that they are driving me kind of crazy…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.”
In this quote, Walter expresses his frustration and envy towards successful white businessmen. He longs for the same opportunities and financial success that seem out of reach for him as a black man. This quote highlights the limitations and inequalities he faces in his pursuit of the American Dream.
Throughout the play, Walter’s character undergoes a transformation as he confronts his own weaknesses and learns the importance of family and personal connections. His journey provides valuable insights into the human condition and the struggles faced by marginalized individuals in society.
A Raisin in the Sun Walter Quotes
In the play “A Raisin in the Sun,” Walter Lee Younger, the main character, expresses his dreams, frustrations, and conflicts through various quotes. These quotes provide insights into Walter’s character and motivation throughout the story.
1. “I’m thirty-five years old; I been married eleven years and I got a boy who sleeps in the living room — and all I got to give him is stories about how rich white people live.”
Walter utters this quote early in the play, revealing his frustration with his current situation. He feels trapped and wants a better life for himself and his family, but he can only provide them with stories instead of material wealth.
2. “Sometimes it’s like I can see the future stretched out in front of me — just plain as day. The future looks like… A big, looming blank space — full of nothing.”
Here, Walter expresses his uncertainty and fear about the future. He feels stuck and unable to make progress towards his dreams, which makes him envision a future devoid of any hope or possibilities.
3. “There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing.”
This quote reflects Walter’s belief in the importance of love and family. Despite his struggles and conflicts, Walter understands that love is a valuable and constant force that should be cherished.
4. “I want so many things that they are driving me kind of crazy… Mama, sometimes when I’m downtown and I pass them cool-looking stores where they sell pianos and diamonds…”
Walter’s desires and materialistic ambitions are evident in this quote. He yearns for the luxuries and success that he sees in others, and it frustrates him that he can’t provide those things for his family.
5. “You see, this little liquor store we got in mind cost seventy-five thousand and we figured the initial investment on the place be ’bout thirty thousand, see.”
Throughout the play, Walter is fixated on his idea of opening a liquor store as a means to improve his financial situation. This quote highlights his determination and belief that the investment will bring the prosperity he desires.
6. “I seen… him… night after night… come in and look at that rug and then look at me… the red showing in his eyes… the veins moving in his head… I seen him… grow thin and old before he was forty… working and working…and working!”
Walter’s bitterness towards his job is revealed in this quote. He witnesses the toll it takes on his father, who worked tirelessly to provide for the family. Walter resents the cycle of hard work with little reward and wants to break free from it.
7. “We one group of men tied to a race of women with small minds.”
Walter’s frustration with his family’s conservative views and lack of ambition is evident in this quote. He feels held back by their conventional thinking and wants to break free from their limitations.
8. “We have decided to move into our house because my father — my father — he earned it for us brick by brick.”
Towards the end of the play, Walter finally understands the importance of his father’s sacrifices and hard work. He realizes the significance of the house his family is about to move into and acknowledges the legacy his father left behind.
9. “We have decided to move into our house because my father — my father — he earned it for us brick by brick.”
Towards the end of the play, Walter finally understands the importance of his father’s sacrifices and hard work. He realizes the significance of the house his family is about to move into and acknowledges the legacy his father left behind.
10. “Yeah. You gave up your life for us… and you did it gladly… and… and there ain’t nothing more to say….”
In this emotional moment, Walter expresses his gratitude and admiration for his mother’s sacrifices. He recognizes her selflessness and acknowledges that she has given everything for her family’s well-being.
These quotes from Walter Lee Younger showcase his dreams, frustrations, conflicts, and growth throughout the play “A Raisin in the Sun.” Through his words, the audience gains insight into his motivations and desire for a better life. Walter’s character serves as a representation of the struggles and aspirations of many individuals striving to achieve their dreams.
Walter’s Dream of a Better Life
One of the central themes in “A Raisin in the Sun” revolves around Walter Younger’s dream of a better life. As the main character, Walter is driven by his desire to improve the quality of life for himself and his family. Throughout the play, his dream serves as a catalyst for the events that unfold and shape the trajectory of the story.
Walter’s dream is rooted in his dissatisfaction with his current circumstances. He feels trapped in a dead-end job as a chauffeur and believes that he is capable of achieving something greater. He yearns for financial independence and views money as the solution to all of his problems. Walter envisions using the insurance money from his father’s death to invest in a liquor store business, which he believes will provide him with the wealth and status he desires.
However, Walter’s dream is not merely about personal gain. He sees it as a way to provide a better future for his son, Travis, and his wife, Ruth. Walter wants to break free from the cycle of poverty and give his family the opportunities that he never had. He believes that by achieving his dream, he will be able to provide them with a better education, better living conditions, and a brighter future.
As Walter becomes consumed with his dream, it begins to cloud his judgment and affects his relationships with those around him. He becomes distant from his family, neglecting his responsibilities and losing sight of what truly matters. His obsession with money leads him to make reckless decisions, which ultimately have dire consequences for himself and his family.
The play explores the complex and often contradictory nature of Walter’s dream. On one hand, it represents his ambition and desire for a better life. On the other hand, it reveals his vulnerabilities and the flaws in his character. Through Walter’s journey, the play raises questions about the true meaning of success, the pursuit of dreams, and the importance of family and personal values.
Overall, Walter’s dream of a better life serves as a driving force in “A Raisin in the Sun.” It highlights the aspirations and struggles of African-American families in mid-20th century America and raises important questions about identity, social mobility, and the pursuit of happiness.
The Pressure to Provide for His Family
One of the central themes in “A Raisin in the Sun” is the pressure that Walter Lee Younger faces to provide for his family. As the play’s main character, Walter is constantly grappling with the weight of this responsibility.
Walter’s role as the head of the family comes with the expectation that he will fulfill the traditional role of the provider. This pressure is intensified by the fact that the Younger family is living in difficult circumstances. They are cramped in a small, run-down apartment and struggling to make ends meet. Walter’s mother, Lena, works as a domestic servant, while his sister, Beneatha, is pursuing her education. The burden of supporting the family falls squarely on Walter’s shoulders.
Walter’s desire to provide for his family stems from a deep-rooted ambition to escape their current situation and achieve success. He dreams of opening a liquor store with the insurance money received after his father’s death. In his mind, this business venture represents an opportunity for financial stability and upward mobility.
However, the pressure to provide for his family becomes overwhelming for Walter, as he encounters numerous obstacles along the way. His lack of financial resources and the skepticism of his family members hinder his ability to achieve his dreams. Walter’s frustration and desperation can be seen in his interactions with his wife, Ruth, and his mother, Lena, as he becomes increasingly desperate to find a way to improve their circumstances.
Throughout the play, the pressure to provide for his family drives Walter’s actions and decisions. It leads him to make risky investments, such as giving his money to a con artist, and ultimately causes a fracture in his relationships. The weight of this responsibility takes a toll on Walter’s mental and emotional well-being, prompting him to question his own worth and value as a provider.
Overall, the pressure to provide for his family is a central conflict in Walter’s character arc in “A Raisin in the Sun.” It explores the complex dynamics of family and the sacrifices one must make in order to meet societal expectations and secure a better future for their loved ones.
Walter’s Friction with His Sister Beneatha
Throughout the play “A Raisin in the Sun,” the character of Walter Younger experiences various conflicts and tensions, one of which is with his sister, Beneatha. This friction is primarily caused by their differing beliefs, values, and aspirations.
One of the main sources of their conflict is the disagreement over how to use the insurance money that their family receives following their father’s death. Walter is determined to invest the money into a business venture, which he sees as an opportunity to achieve financial success and improve their lives. On the other hand, Beneatha wants to use the money to fund her college education and pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. This fundamental disagreement leads to intense arguments and clashes between the siblings.
Walter often feels belittled and overshadowed by Beneatha’s ambitions and intellectual pursuits. He resents her apparent disregard for his dreams and desires, believing that she looks down on him and considers him less worthy. This leads to a deep sense of insecurity and frustration within Walter, which further fuels their conflicts.
Furthermore, Walter is also resentful of Beneatha’s changing attitudes towards their African heritage. She explores her identity through various forms of self-expression, such as her interest in African art, culture, and her relationship with Asagai, a Nigerian exchange student. Walter, however, sees this as a rejection of their own American culture and resents Beneatha’s disregard for their family’s struggles and history.
The friction between Walter and Beneatha is not without occasional moments of understanding and reconciliation. Beneatha, at times, shows compassion and tries to empathize with Walter’s struggles and aspirations. Similarly, Walter, despite his resentment, still cares for his sister’s well-being and wants her to be successful. However, these brief moments of harmony are often overshadowed by their conflicting goals and beliefs.
In conclusion, the tension between Walter and Beneatha in “A Raisin in the Sun” is driven by their differing values, aspirations, and perspectives. This conflict serves to highlight the complexities and challenges of family dynamics and individual aspirations within the context of a changing society.
Walter’s Desire for Respect and Independence
Throughout the play A Raisin in the Sun, Walter Younger’s character is driven by a strong desire for respect and independence. He longs to be his own man, to have the financial means to support his family, and to finally be seen as a capable and successful individual.
Walter’s desire for respect stems from his frustration with his current situation. He feels emasculated and undervalued, working as a chauffeur for a wealthy white family. He resents having to be subservient to his employer, and yearns for a position where he is the one giving orders. This desire for respect is evident in his quote: “Man say to his woman: I got me a dream. His woman say: Eat your eggs.” Walter longs for his family to take him seriously and support his dreams, rather than dismissing them.
In addition to respect, Walter’s desire for independence is central to his character. He is tired of relying on others and wants to break free from the constraints that hold him back. He sees financial independence as a means to achieve this, as it would allow him to make his own decisions and have control over his life. This desire is evident when he says: “I’m thirty-five years old; I been married eleven years and I got a boy who sleeps in the living room – and all I got to give him is stories about how rich white people live.” Walter’s frustrations stem from his inability to provide a better life for his family, and he believes that financial independence is the key to gaining the respect and freedom he craves.
Throughout the play, Walter’s desire for respect and independence drives his actions. He becomes obsessed with the idea of opening a liquor store with the insurance money from his father’s death, seeing it as his ticket to financial success and the respect of his family and peers. This desire is so strong that he is willing to risk the entire family’s welfare for a chance at independence. However, as the play progresses, Walter learns that respect and independence cannot be attained solely through money, but also through self-worth and standing up for one’s beliefs.
The Impact of Money on Walter’s Character
Money plays a significant role in shaping Walter’s character throughout “A Raisin in the Sun”. As the play progresses, Walter’s obsession with money and his eagerness to achieve financial success become increasingly evident.
One way in which money impacts Walter’s character is by fueling his ambition. Walter dreams of using his father’s life insurance money to invest in a liquor store business. He believes that this investment will provide financial security for his family and elevate his social status. Walter’s desire for wealth and success drives him to make risky decisions, such as accepting money from a shady friend and disregarding the concerns of his family.
However, as Walter’s obsession with money grows, it also exposes his vulnerability. The constant pressure to provide for his family and fulfill his dreams makes Walter feel trapped and desperate. He becomes increasingly frustrated with his job as a chauffeur, believing that he deserves more in life. Walter’s desperation for money leads him to a breaking point, where he considers accepting a bribe. This decision showcases his deteriorating moral compass and the drastic lengths he is willing to go to achieve his financial goals.
Furthermore, money affects Walter’s relationships with his family members. His pursuit of wealth causes tension within the household, as his wife, Ruth, and his mother, Lena, have different priorities. While they understand the importance of financial stability, they value relationships and personal growth over material possessions. Walter’s relentless pursuit of money strains his relationship with Ruth, as he becomes distant and neglectful of her emotional needs. The conflict between Walter and his family reflects the divide between his ambition and their values.
Ultimately, money molds Walter’s character by revealing his flaws and sparking a transformation. Through his experiences, he learns that money alone cannot bring happiness and fulfillment. His pursuit of wealth leads to disappointments and setbacks, and he realizes the importance of family unity and personal growth. By the end of the play, Walter’s character undergoes a significant change as he recognizes the value of his family and embraces his role as a husband and father.
In conclusion, money plays a crucial role in shaping Walter’s character throughout “A Raisin in the Sun”. It drives his ambition, exposes his vulnerability, strains his relationships, and ultimately leads to his personal growth. The impact of money on Walter’s character highlights the complex dynamics between dreams, aspirations, and the pursuit of financial success.
Walter’s Struggle with Identity and Manhood
Throughout A Raisin in the Sun, Walter Younger grapples with the challenges of defining his identity as a man. He is constantly fighting against the societal expectations placed upon him as an African American man in 1950s America, as well as his own personal desires and ambitions.
One aspect of Walter’s struggle with identity is his dissatisfaction with his current job as a chauffeur. He dreams of becoming a successful businessman and providing a better life for his family. This desire to prove himself and be seen as a successful provider is tied to his masculinity and sense of self-worth. Walter feels emasculated by his current job and believes that achieving financial success will elevate his status as a man.
This struggle also manifests in Walter’s relationships with the women in his life. He often clashes with his wife, Ruth, over money and their conflicting priorities. Walter’s desire to invest in a business venture stems from his need to establish himself as a successful breadwinner and demonstrate his ability to provide for his family. However, this ambition also blinds him to the needs and concerns of his wife and ultimately puts a strain on their marriage.
Walter’s struggle with identity and manhood is further complicated by his strained relationship with his mother, Lena. He feels overshadowed by her strong-willed nature and struggles to assert his own independence and autonomy. Walter resents the control that Lena has over the family’s finances and dreams of having the power to make his own decisions. This desire for control and independence is tied to his perception of manhood and his need to assert his own agency.
Overall, Walter’s struggle with identity and manhood is a central theme in A Raisin in the Sun. Through his aspirations for success, conflicts with his wife, and strained relationship with his mother, he grapples with societal expectations and personal desires. This struggle highlights the complexities of masculinity and the pressures placed upon African American men during this time period.
Walter’s Transformation and Growth
Walter Younger, the protagonist of “A Raisin in the Sun,” undergoes a significant transformation and growth throughout the play. At the beginning of the story, Walter is dissatisfied with his life and dreams of becoming rich. However, as the play progresses, he learns important lessons and evolves into a more mature and responsible individual.
One of the key moments in Walter’s transformation is when he receives the insurance money after his father’s death. Initially, Walter plans to use the money to invest in a liquor store with his friends, hoping that it will bring him financial success. This decision reflects Walter’s initial desire to achieve wealth and escape from his current situation.
However, as the play unfolds, Walter realizes that money alone cannot bring happiness or fulfill his aspirations. He faces numerous challenges and obstacles that make him question his choices and values. Through his interactions with his family and the setbacks he experiences, Walter begins to understand the importance of selflessness, family, and identity.
One of the pivotal moments in Walter’s growth occurs during his confrontation with Mr. Lindner, the representative of the white neighborhood association. Walter initially considers accepting Lindner’s buyout offer, which would prevent his family from moving into an all-white neighborhood. However, he ultimately rejects the offer, realizing that his pride, dignity, and the dreams of his family are more important than financial gain.
This pivotal moment demonstrates Walter’s growth from a selfish and money-driven individual to someone who prioritizes his family’s well-being and cherishes his heritage. He recognizes that success is not solely measured by financial wealth but also by standing up for one’s values and beliefs.
In the end, Walter’s transformation and growth are reflected in his decision to invest the remaining insurance money in his sister’s education. This act of selflessness and sacrifice shows how much he has changed throughout the play. By prioritizing Beneatha’s future, Walter proves that he has learned to value the well-being of his family over his own ambitions.
|Walter’s Transformation and Growth|
|1. Initially dissatisfied with life and dreams of becoming rich.|
|2. Learns that money alone cannot bring happiness or fulfillment.|
|3. Values selflessness, family, and identity over financial gain.|
|4. Rejects buyout offer, prioritizing his family’s dignity and dreams.|
|5. Invests remaining insurance money in sister’s education, demonstrating selflessness and sacrificing his own ambitions.|
Overall, Walter’s transformation and growth throughout “A Raisin in the Sun” highlight the importance of self-reflection, family, and standing up for one’s values. From a money-centric and dissatisfied individual, Walter evolves into a mature and responsible individual who prioritizes the well-being of his family above all else.
Walter’s Wisdom and Insights
Walter Lee Younger, the main character in “A Raisin in the Sun,” is a complex and multi-dimensional character who offers many insights and pearls of wisdom throughout the play. His determination, struggles, and aspirations provide valuable lessons and perspectives on life.
One of Walter’s most notable insights is his belief in the importance of dreams and aspirations. Despite facing numerous setbacks and obstacles, he remains fiercely committed to his dream of owning a liquor store. Walter understands that dreams are what give people hope and propel them forward, even when life seems bleak. His unwavering conviction in pursuing his dreams serves as a reminder to never give up on one’s aspirations, no matter how impossible they may seem.
Another key aspect of Walter’s character is his struggle to find his identity and place in the world. Throughout the play, he grapples with the question of what it means to be a man and struggles with societal expectations and pressures. Walter’s journey highlights the importance of self-discovery and staying true to oneself, even in the face of adversity. His search for identity resonates with many individuals who have experienced similar struggles, offering a valuable insight into the universal human experience.
Walter’s transformation throughout the play also offers an important lesson about personal growth and the power of redemption. Initially, he is consumed by his own desires and seems willing to sacrifice his family’s well-being for his own personal gain. However, as the play progresses, Walter learns the importance of family and realizes the error of his ways. His realization underscores the significance of personal growth and the ability to change for the better. Walter’s transformation serves as a reminder that it is never too late to learn from one’s mistakes and make amends.
Lastly, Walter’s experiences shed light on the pervasive issue of racial inequality and discrimination. As an African American man living in a segregated society, Walter faces many challenges and barriers that hinder his progress. His struggles illuminate the systemic racism and oppression that existed during the time period in which the play is set. Walter’s story encourages conversations about race, equality, and the need for social change, making it a valuable insight into the ongoing fight for justice and equality.
In conclusion, Walter’s character in “A Raisin in the Sun” offers a wealth of wisdom and insights. His belief in dreams, personal growth, and the fight against racial discrimination serve as valuable lessons that resonate with audiences to this day. Walter’s story serves as a reminder to pursue one’s dreams, stay true to oneself, and fight for equality, making him a memorable and influential character in American literature.
Question and answer:
What are some of Walter’s most memorable quotes from “A Raisin in the Sun”?
Some of Walter’s most memorable quotes from “A Raisin in the Sun” include “Sometimes it’s like I can see the future stretched out in front of me — just plain as day,” “It’s just that… I want so many things”
What does Walter’s quote “Sometimes it’s like I can see the future stretched out in front of me — just plain as day” reveal about his character?
Walter’s quote reveals his ambitious nature and his desire for a better life. It shows that he has big dreams and hopes for the future.
What challenges does Walter face throughout the play?
Throughout the play, Walter faces various challenges, including financial struggles, conflicts within his family, and the pressure to provide for his loved ones. He also struggles with his own identity and finding his purpose in life.
How does Walter’s character develop throughout the play?
At the beginning of the play, Walter is portrayed as an ambitious but frustrated man. However, as the story progresses, he learns important life lessons and goes through a transformation. He becomes more compassionate, understanding, and willing to fight for what he believes in.
What insights can we gain from Walter’s character in “A Raisin in the Sun”?
Walter’s character in “A Raisin in the Sun” provides insights into the struggles and dreams of African Americans during the 1950s. His character also highlights the importance of family, the pursuit of dreams, and the power of resilience.