A Raisin in the Sun Characters

Character List

Buy Study Guide

Walter Lee Younger

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.

Lena Younger (Mama)

The 60-something matriarch of the family. She has recently lost her husband Walter Sr., and will be the recipient of a $10,000 life insurance check. Played by Claudia McNeil in the original Broadway production.

Beneatha Younger

Walter's 20-year-old sister, a college student who invades the Younger household with her modern ideas and philosophies on race, class, and religion. She is a handsome intellectual who has worked hard to refine her speech. Played by Diana Sands in the original Broadway production.

Ruth Younger

Walter's wife and Travis' mother. In her early thirties, Ruth is exceptionally pretty, but is aging before her time because of her impoverished surroundings. During her 11 years of marriage, she often bore the responsibility of keeping the household running, in addition to working as a domestic servant. Played by Ruby Dee in the original Broadway production.

Travis Younger

Walter and Ruth's 10-year-old son.

Joseph Asagai

A Nigerian college student pursuing Beneatha.

George Murchison

Beneatha's boyfriend and fellow classmate, who hails from a wealthy black family.

Mrs. Johnson

The Youngers' nosy neighbor, who points out the dangers of moving into Clybourne Park

Karl Lindner

A white, middle-aged representative from the Clybourne Park Improvement Society.

Bobo

A fellow investor in the liquor business, along with Willy and Walter.

Willy

A partner in the liquor business scheme who eventually runs off with Walter and Bob's investment money.