The play A Raisin in the Sun, talks about two key characters Walter and Beneathaboth from the same family who have alike traits. Beneatha, Walter’s younger sister, is a college student who plans to go to medical school. She appears to the most intellectual member of her family, and, therefore, she gets pride in it. On the other hand, Walter that was busy with thoughts to become rich like his friends envisions his life and that of his family and hopes to make his family better by providing all the basic needs and wishes to change their family condition. The two characters share some commonalities, such as motivation and zeal to achieve their dreams as discussed in this essay.
Walter has the zeal to achieve his dreams by spending most of the time planning how he will spend his father’s money to improve situations in their family. Throughout the play, he is seen endlessly to contemplate on coming up with a solution to the various problems that arise in his family (Hansberry 67). Walter achieves his desired dream in the neighborhood by opening up a liquor store. Moreover, he plans on ways to spend the money left behind by his father to use in ways to create more income. Equally, Walter is a self-motivated character who strives to attain dignity in that he expresses a longing to have a sovereign livelihood. In the play, he wants to quit his job as a chauffeur and instead establish a liquor store from which he can easily control his finances (Kelly n.p.). Through self-motivation, he opens up the liquor store after joining hands together with his friends and leads the independent life he needed.
Beneatha is a self-motivated and a hard worker who needs to pursue medicine in the college, but financial constraints make her schooling not to be a reality (Mathews 560). In the play, we are shown how Beneatha struggles through own motivation to make her study become a reality. Therefore, she participates in different moneymaking activities like acting. This is evidenced by an act one scene where she dances with Walter and tries to apologize by saying that “I would like to thank everyone but forgive me for wanting to be anything” (Hansberry 90). Although, she looked down at other family members because they had not been educated as she was. In addition, Beneatha has the zeal to achieve her success of becoming a doctor. The schooling required a considerable financial expense, but she was still willing to undertake it. Though her dreams are valid from her efforts to achieve success in becoming a doctor, she uses this not as a point to lose hope but gain courage and search for alternative ideas to make money to help her go to school (Kelly n.p.). For instance, Beneatha demonstrates the will to distinguish her from family is the move to marry Asagai. She knows in this way, she will be able to continue her studies since Asagai can take care of her school fee.
In conclusion, there is a similarity in that the characters, Beneatha and her brother Walter demonstrate self-motivation and zeal to achieve success in all their activities. By adopting these two characters, the playwright effectively shows how two different characters who share common characteristics can play individual roles in the play. For instance, Beneathe is self-motivated and has the zeal to achieve success by pursuing her course in medicine though there are financial constraints, while Walter is driven by his motivation and zeal to achieve success too by opening up a liquor store which he succeeds in the opening.
Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. Penguin Random House, 2014.
Kelly, Amanda. “The Art of Social Criticism: Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.” Midwestern Literature, www.midwesternliterature.org/amanda-kelly. Accessed 1 March 2017.
Matthews, Kristin L. “The Politics of ‘Home’ in Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin In The Sun.” Modern Drama, vol 51, no. 4, 2008, pp. 556-578.