Mama? Walter? Ruth? Beneatha? Travis?
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For Walter the check means the possibility to “get rich quick”. The money is a way to validate his worth. Walter feels useless. He cannot provide enough for his family and he laments how little opportunity a black man in America has. The money is a way for Walter to redeem himself. Unfortunately Walter lacks the skills and the work ethic to achieve his financial goals. Ruth hopes the money might mean some kind of stability for her family. Rather than gamble it on a liquor store, Ruth wants the money to actually mean something. Bethena wants to use the money for her education. She wants to transcend her family circumstances and redefine herself and her place in the world. Mama sees the money as the embodiment of her dead husband. It becomes a reflection of her past that can affect the future of her family’s well-being. I do not think that tavis quite understands the concept of the money.