All people have dreams whether it is to be famous, have a nice family or even just to pass high school. Walter Lee Younger’s dream was to make a lot of money. In pursuit of his dream, Walter let it get in the way of his family and values. In the Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, Walter realizes that his family is more important than his dreams because, in the beginning, all he cared about was money and he was selfish but, in the end, he decided his family was more important than money.
In the beginning of the story Walter was trying to pressure his mother into giving him all the money she received from his father’s life insurance policy. “Do you know what this money can do for us Mama -Mama I want so many things. “(73) This, in effect, shows that Walter was putting his dreams over his values because one of his values is his family. This quote shows that Walter was more concerned with what the insurance money could do for him, as opposed to how it might benefit the rest of his family.
Furthermore, a quote that accurately depicts Walter being obsessed with money would be when Walter asked Ruth to convince Mama to give him the money “Mama would listen. You know she listens to you better than she does me and Bennie”(32) moreover this shows that Walter was willing to use someone else to get what he wanted because his desire to achieve his dreams was so strong he was willing to go to any measures including manipulating his wife to get what he wanted. Throughout the story, Walter was being selfish.
At one point he said to Bennie when it was first brought up that she wanted to be a doctor. “Have we figured out how much medical school is going to cost. “(36) regarding the quote Walter is trying to figure out how much of Mama’s money can get if Bennie goes to medical school. Instead of thinking how good going to medical school would be for his sister he’s thinking about how of his mother’s insurance money would be left over for him. In the same argument with Bennie about the insurance money and how it was going to be used Walter said . who the hell told you-vou had to be a doctor. “If you so crazy about messing round with sick people then go be a nurse like other women or just get married and be quiet. “(38) Considering this it was evident that Walter wanted his sister to go into a less expensive field so he can get the most of the insurance money. During the climax of the play, it is found out that Walter had used all the money Mama gave him including his sister’s college money. Walter then realizes his mistakes and comes to the conclusion that his family comes before money.
When Walter was talking to Linder at the end of the book when Linder thought that the Younger’s were going to take his money. Walter stated “And we have decided that we will move into our house because my father-my father earned it for us brick by brick. We don’t want to cause no trouble for nobody or fight no causes, and we will try and be good neighbors . And that’s all we got to say about it. We don’t want your money”(148) Considering this Walter at the beginning of the book would’ve had happily taken Linder’s money because all he cared about is money.
Furthermore, this accurately depicts Walters evolution as a character from being a boy who only cared about money to a man who has realized that money isn’t the most important thing in the world. Moreover in the same conversation with Linder. Walter said, “And my sister over there she going to be a doctor and we are very proud. “(148) Furthermore, this depicts that Walter is no longer a selfish person and respects the dreams of his family members. In the beginning of the play Walter did not want Beneatha to go to medical school or become a doctor ecause it would take away money that would be available for his dream however now Walters supports his sister’s dream.
The theme that Lorraine Hansberry is trying to portray through Walter is that family relationships are important. This is shown through at first Walter is selfish and only cared about money but as the story goes on he realizes that his values are more important than his dreams because all he wanted was Mama’s money, he wanted Beneatha to quit school and he ultimately chose his family over money.