A Raisin in the sun is a play written by Lorraine Hansberry. The play revolves around the life of the family of the late Lee Younger and mainly focuses on their daily struggles to make ends meet. Mrs. Lenah Younger, the wife to the late Lee Younger, fondly referred to as” mama” is currently the head of the family.
This family consists of her son Walter Younger who is married to Ruth Younger and is blessed with a son Travis Younger. She also has a daughter Bennie Younger and they all live in a two bedroom apartment in a poor neighborhood in the slums of Chicago (Lorraine 1984 Pg.15).
The play depicts Lenah Younger as very a strong woman, Walter Younger as a bitter, angry and unfulfilled person who is angry at himself and his family.
Mrs. Lenah Younger can be considered as the main character of the play. She is the focus of the play’s most important and anticipated event which is the arrival of the check courtesy of her late husband’s life insurance. A phrase that can describe her is strong; she is a single woman who fends for her family after the demise of her husband.
She remains head of the household until she relinquishes this responsibility to her son. She also instills a lot of love for her family members no matter what happens. This is seen when Walter loses the money she entrusts to him she is still able to forgive him and asks the same of his sister since family is important.
Mama also draws her strength from her deep-rooted religious values. She believes that God is present and has control over everything. In the scene where her daughter Bennie says that she doesn’t place much trust in God, her mother firmly reminds her and demands that she will respect God for so long as she is living under her mother’s roof (Lorraine 1984 Pg.24).
Walter Younger is also vital to the play; he is introduced as a bitter, angry, unfulfilled individual. He has a dream of becoming wealthy as a liquor store owner and this dream is entirely dependent on the money from the check mama receives. He is so desperate that he even tries to convince his wife to try and influence mama’s decision on lending him part of the money to invest in the liquor store business (Lorraine 1984 Pg.25).
It for the same reason, that Walter gets into an argument with her sister in the morning trying to get her to refuse the money that mama is bound to give her from the check for medical school. He even says a chauvinistic statement to his sister’s dream of becoming a doctor.
He becomes bitterer when mama uses part of the money to buy a house for the family without consulting him. His lack of fulfillment makes him invest the money given to him for safekeeping in a business that sees him lose the whole amount (Lorraine 1984 Pg.30).
In conclusion, mama is the strongest member of the family even when Walter loses the money she insists that they have to move on with their lives. Walter is the bitter, unfulfilled son and as the play ends he makes a tough decision of not choosing the money but the house and finally becoming the man of the house.
He thus manages to overgrow his bitterness and becomes a responsible member of the family. Mama is the person who holds the family together and makes them who they are; it is also because of Mama that Walter finally becomes responsible.
Hansberry, Lorraine. Lorraine Hansberry’s a Raisin in the Sun. New York: S. French, 1984. Print.