Materialism In A Raisin In The Sun

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Though American citizens are recognized as adults at the age of eighteen, human brains take much longer to fully develop. The play A Raisin in the Sun takes place in the apartment of the Youngers, an African American family struggling with financial issues during the 1950’s. Walter’s father has recently passed away, and Mama receives a life insurance check for his death. Walter and Mama share their cramped apartment with Walter’s sister Beneatha, his wife, Ruth, and their son, Travis. Walter works as a chauffeur and Ruth does domestic chores for rich, white families. They do not have many opportunities for better jobs or higher quality education, but Beneatha attends college classes in hopes of becoming a doctor. Walter’s job as a chauffeur…show more content…
After buying a house, Mama gives the remaining money to Walter, telling him to save some for Beneatha’s medical school, and that he can decide what the rest of the money can go to. Walter tells Travis that he is going to change their lives with the money: “One day...I’ll pull up on the driveway...just a plain black chrysler… though I’ll have to get something a little sportier for Ruth---maybe a Cadillac convertible...and I‘ll go inside...to see you sitting on the floor with the catalogues of the great in America all around you… just tell me what it is you want to be---… and I hand you the world!” (108-109). Walter fantasizes about owning classy cars and being able to pay for his son to go to any of the top-notch schools in America. His visions for the future reveal that his perception of reality is unrealistic and that wealth matters very much to him. He is very confident that he will be able to give Travis “the world”, which shows that he has excessive faith in his business deal. His delusions and excitement can hinder his ability to make calculated decisions. Without saving any money for Beneatha’s medical school, Walter gives the money to his friend, Willy, to invest in liquor stores. The next day, Walter’s other friend, Bobo, visits Walter to tell him that Willy ran off with the money. Walter melts down and yells, “Man, I put my life in your…show more content…
In the beginning of the play, Walter is foolish and quarrelsome, with his heart set on becoming affluent. As he grasps how hard work his father worked and how hard his family works, he reasons that living by his standards is more important than gaining wealth, and he stops feeling resentful towards them. This play highlights how many members of society focus more on making money than living by their ethical

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