A Raisin in the Sun

Choose one of the characters in the play, and define his or her dreams and what they represent for each character.

Raisin in the Sun, entire screenplay

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Walter Lee Younger is a 35-year-old chauffeur who has a young son, Travis, with his wife, Ruth. The family lives in small apartment with Walter's mother and sister in the South Side of Chicago. Hansberry describes Walter as a lean, intense man with nervous movements and erratic speaking patterns. Played by Sidney Poitier in the original Broadway production. Walter Younger truly encapsulates the American dream. He has a genuine entrepreneurial spirit and desire to progress. Walter doesn't want to challenge the present system as Beneatha does. Instead, he wishes to progress up the social ladder into a higher class. He is unsatisfied with his job as a chauffeur, and wants a big house, a nice car, pearls for his wife, and an office job. In short, he desires the bourgeoisie lifestyle. Walter's idolization of wealth and power actually creates a deep hunger within him for change, but as long as obstacles like racism keep him stagnated, his hopes and dreams fester. After several events, Mama realizes the significance of his plans even though she morally objects to the idea of a liquor store. Still, Walter's idea for a liquor store caries many risks which threaten the fortunes of the whole family.