Lorraine HansberryÆs (1995) drama A Raisin in The Sun revolves around the dilemma of Ruth and Walter Lee Younger. The Youngers exist in the racist culture of 1950s Chicago. Residing in a cramped apartment, the Youngers look forward to their move to a house, part of their realization of the ôAmerican Dream,ö with anticipation. However, their new neighbors are unhappy with the prospect of a black family living in their neighborhood, so they conspire with the Clybourne Park Improvement Association to keep them out by offering them money to move somewhere else. Despite Walter Lee YoungerÆs contention that the family will move into the house in Clybourne Park ôàbecause my fatherùmy fatherùhe earned it for us brick by brick,ö the dilemma to move or not within the Younger family exposes the connections between class in race in American society (Hansberry, 1995, p. 128).
The Youngers are excited to move to a home in a primarily white neighborhood. However, the play focuses on the efforts of Mama Lena and Ruth to bring Walter Lee to a mature recognition. The Linders would love nothing more than to keep people like the Youngers out of their neighborhood, based primarily on reasons or race and prejudices against African Americans. Ruth and Mama Lena struggle to make Walter become aware that African Americans are exiled in mainstream society, an exile that is orchestrated unfairly, based on race, and is characterized by individuals like the Linders. Their new neighbors are happy to pay Walter to keep the Youngers out of Clybourne Park. Mama Lena provides her son with the insurance money she has set aside for a house, but Walter is unsure which decision to make. His mother knows something has been eating him up ôlike a crazy manàthe past few years I been watching it happen to youö (Hansberry, 1995, p. 56).
What has been happening to Walter is his aimless, drifting and wasting of money