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Walter Lee from “A Raisin in the Sun” Essay

The play a Raisin in the Sun is a play written by Lorraine Hansberry. This story is about an African American family living in Southside Chicago. In the story, the family goes through many hardships especially when it comes to money. The Younger family lives in an overcrowded apartment which has very little room for all of them. There is a $10,000 check coming from the insurance company for Walter Lee’s dad’s death. He is the man of the house now and is determined to provide a better life for him and his family. Which he figures out at the end that money is not everything. Walter Lee is the head of the family and in the beginning of the play he seems to be extremely bitter. He works for a rich white man as a chauffeur. This easily makes him bitter on the inside because he sees everyday what it is like to be rich. You can tell this because he tells Mama that he sees the rich white boys sitting down to eat every day and he knows they are talking about business or something about closing a million dollar deal. Walter Lee has had many business ideas in the past but they all seem to flop to the ground in a hurry like humpty dumpty. When he comes up with the idea of going into partnership with some men to open a liquor store his Mama is upset with him.

He eventually convinces her into giving him a cut of the money from the insurance company after she buys a house for them to move in to. When he gives the money to his partner for the business, his partner runs with the money and is not seen again. This makes Walter very upset and he goes off the deep end for a short amount of time. The need of money may be important but it is definitely not worth losing your family over. After the money is lost, Walter invites the white man back to the apartment to discuss his offer and plans to accept the bribe to his family for them not to move. When the man gets to the apartment, Walter changes his mind and tells the man that they are going to move into the house either way. This makes his mother very happy and she even says to Walter’s wife Ruth that “he finally came into his manhood today.” This also defines Walter Lee as a dynamic character in this story when he realized money wasn’t everything and changed in the end.

Walter Lee is a man who is confused in the beginning and believes to some extent that money is everything and has all power. The family supports Walter Lee but at times get mad at him because they don’t understand why money has to be everything. Walter’s dream has been to have money and take care of his family. He finally understands in the end that his family is the most important thing there is, not money.

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