Money is a very taboo topic in general. Without money, it is very hard for you to achieve your goals. In the 1940s especially with all of the segregation and racism acts. In the book A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry there are multiple symbolic messages in this play that affect the way that characters are perceived and give onlookers more depth into their personalities, two of the main symbols that are found are Money and Dreams that the characters have throughout the book, they both can be physical and physiological.
One of the major conflicts in the play is money, this makes conflicts with the four main characters which are Mama, Walter, Ruth, and Beneatha. In the story, there is a part where Walter and Mama are having a conversation about money and Walter has different views about it when she says, “ Oh – So now it’s life. Money is life. Once upon a time freedom used to be life – now it’s money. I guess the world really do change . . .
Walter: No – it was always money, Mama. We just didn’t know about it.
Mama: No . . . something has changed. You something new, boy. In my time we were worried about not being lynched and getting to the North if we could and how to stay alive and still have a pinch of dignity too . . . (Hansberry act 1 scene 2 page 48)” Mom asks Walter for what good reason he generally discusses cash. Walter replies with ‘cash is life,’ disclosing to her that achievement is presently characterized by how much cash one has. These lines exhibit the ideological contrasts between their ages. All throughout the play, Mama’s perspectives are inconsistent with Walter’s and Beneatha’s perspectives. For Walter, cash is by all accounts the response to everything. Cash, he accepts, enables individuals to live agreeable and cheerful lives. This relates to the claim because it shows how two different generations preserve money and problems relating to money.
In life, there are conflicts that have to do with the money that makes some people turn selfish and not think about the consequences that it might cause in the future. Mama is having a conversation with beneath about what would have been if Walter didn’t lose the money. She is thinking about everything she would have done for herself not really everyone else. As Mama was talking to Beneatha she said this “Have you cried for that boy today? I don’t mean for yourself and for the family ‘cause we lost the money. I mean for him: what he been through and what it did to him. Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they have done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain’t through learning – because that ain’t the time at all. It’s when he’s at his lowest and can’t believe in his himself ‘cause the world done whipped him so! (Hansberry act 3 page 145)” When you start measuring somebody, measure him, right child, measure him right. Make sure you did take into account what hills and valleys he comes through before he got to wherever he is. This relates to the claim because money can overwhelm your senses in a way that can change the whole way you are seen as in a situation.
Money can affect the relationships between the characters and you see that a lot throughout the book. In one of these situations, Mama and Walter are talking about how she has been to him. Mama is confessing to him that she understands that she hasn’t been good to him. When she is talking about her son’s response is this “I say I been wrong, son. That I been doing to you what the rest of the world been doing to you. Walter – what you ain’t never understood is that I ain’t got nothing, don’t own anything, ain’t never really wanted nothing that wasn’t for you. . . . There ain’t nothing worth holding on to, money, dreams, nothing else – if it means – if it means it’s going to destroy my boy. . . . I’m telling you to be the head of this family from now on like you supposed to be. (Hansberry act 2 scene 2 page 106)” What this is overall saying is that Walter wants Travis to have a way better life than he did. He also wants his son to succeed in life so he won’t become like his father. This relates to the dreams part of the claim because Walter is realizing that he’s not just doing it for himself to succeed, but he wants the next generation to succeed since it’s more important to him.
Money can change the way that people act. This book has no exception! Beneatha wanted the money to be able to stay in college. Beneath is a character who is very determined and she’s really getting a new “modern” since she is an educated African American woman who wants to become a doctor. In this book towards the end, Beneatha has a fit because Walter lost all of the money and her “friend” Asagai said basically that even though what happened was bad it’s not the end of the world for her, he stated exactly, “Then isn’t there something wrong in a house – in a world! – where all dreams, good or bad, must depend on the death of a man? I never thought to see you like this, Alaimo. (Hansberry act 3 page 135)” Beneatha is awfully discouraged and skeptical, knowing now that the cash for her future instruction is likewise gone and that her future and her fantasies are likely destroyed. Asagai gets her increasingly irate by belligerence that her fantasy and her methods for accomplishing it are inseparably bound up in the demise of her dad and Walter’s budgetary keen. While Beneatha views herself as free, Asagai contends that she has been definitely not. This relates to the claim because her dreams and demands are so ambitious that she doesn’t care how it affects other people in her family or friends.
The author of The Raisin in the Sun showed how the symbols of Money and Dreams through mainly the Main characters which are Walter, Mama, Ruth, and Beneatha had a strong effect on the character’s thoughts and actions. In present-day today people’s dreams and ambition, a lot of times have to do with money. In order to achieve these goals, the characters in the book create conflicts with each other and also with themselves to try to achieve the goals the way that they think is the right way. Therefore, society at any point in time revolves on you having money.
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