A Raisin in the Sun Freedom
Have you ever found money coming between you and your family and disrupting love and life? Money can destroy families and change them for the worse. In the Raisin in the Sun, the author Lorraine Hansberry, uses events of her life to relate and explain how the Younger family, of Chicago’s South side, struggles and improves throughout the book. One main cause for their family’s problems is because of money and how it causes anger to control the family. The play deals with situations in which the family is dealing with unhappiness from money. Walter, the man of the house in the Younger family, tries impressing Travis, his son, too much with money instead of teaching him the more important lessons of life. Walter also dreams to invest in a liquor store and make a lot of money and becomes overwhelmed and badly caught up in his dream. Lastly, the Younger family is much too dependent on the check their Mama is receiving. The family has lost the fact that their mama tries to tell them, before, freedom was life but now money seems to have the controlling factor in life. When money becomes an obsession for a family, problems occur.
Walter seems to be a good father to Travis, but starts to lose control by the end of the play. When with Travis, Walter relates too much to money, instead of focusing on their family fun in life. Walter tries to impress Travis with money and thinks that teaching Travis to be rich is the happiest way to go. In the play, it shows that Travis is becoming like his father and is starting to think about money at too young of an age. In scene two in Raisin in the Sun, Travis complains to his mother, Ruth, that he wants to work so he can earn some money. His father responds by giving Travis money and trying to impress him. Walter says to Travis, “In fact, here’s another fifty cents… Buy yourself some fruit today or take a taxicab to school or something!”(Page 30). It is all right to be happy with money but it shouldn’t be the reason to be proud of your family. Being busy with a job and obligated to money doesn’t give the freedom Americans have fought for.
Walter, a chauffeur in Chicago, has a dream to invest in a nearby liquor store and make a lot of money. Walter gets to the point were money is the only thing that makes him happy and it starts to control him. He becomes very angry and selfish around his family and spends late nights in bars getting drunk. The whole family becomes very angry with Walter’s awkward changes in behavior, especially Mama. Mama asks Walter, “Son- how come you talk so much `bout money?” Walter responds with immense passion, ” Because it is life, Mama.” Mama then replies quietly, “OH- so now it’s life? Money is life. Once open a time freedom used to be life – now it’s money. I guess the world really do change…” Walter then explains with confidence, “No- it was always money, Mama. We just didn’t know about it.”(Page 74). Mama goes on to argue the facts that people had to overcome to get the freedom and rights the have obtained. This is even more of a factor for African-Americans. This speech startled Walter and made him think, but not enough to stop him form losing a lot of his families money.
The Younger family had been very excited since Mama was receiving a $10,000 insurance check for the death of her husband. Everyone in the family had dreams of what to do with the money. It is normal to be excited for money, but the family seems too dependent on the check. All talk and ideas had been revolved around the check, and it shouldn’t take someone to die to create happiness in the family. The check finally arrives and the family anxiously encourages Mama to open it. “Come on! Open it… Lord have mercy, I wish Walter Lee were here!” states Ruth, Walter’s wife. “Open it, Grandmama!” yells Travis. (Page 68). The whole family continues to persuade Mama to open the check but she continues to hesitate. Mama is too excited for the check but she doesn’t want the money to greatly affect the family in a bad way. The household becomes very happy about the check but soon the moods starts to sink. Overcome with greediness and wants the family members begin to experience the control and changes the money starts to make.
Lorraine Hansberry does a great job of pointing out the struggles money can cause a family to have. Mama is a character used to explain lessons and morals and states that freedom was life. Walter demonstrates a greedy and in many ways, selfish man, who needs money to be happy. Walter argues that money is life today and that most people live based on money. This paper displays the fact used throughout the play, before, freedom was life but now money seems to have the controlling factor in life. Statements that clarify this argument were Walter using money to impress Travis. Walter having an obsession for money and a dream for investing in a liquor store. Lastly, was Mama’s check, which excited everyone in the Younger family. The check changed them for the worse and showed the bad affects of money. It is hard to argue the fact that Lorraine Hansberry doesn’t use money as a main point in her play. Her changes she has money create made the play, A Raisin in the Sun, still a popular lesson today.