(A Raisin in the Sun)
Walter and Beneatha’s mother. The matriarch of the family, Mama is religious, moral, and maternal. She wants to use her husband’s insurance money as a down payment on a house with a backyard to fulfill her dream for her family to move up in the world. Mama wants a bigger house for her family. All she wants is the best for them. She gets the check, which comes in the mail and buys a house for the family that is to be left for Travis and puts away the rest for Beneatha to go to school. Mama leaves whatever is left of the ten thousand dollars in Walter’s hands. She obviously worries more about the family than herself. All she wants is for Beneatha to become successful and she would like Walter to stop worrying about money. She stands up for her beliefs and provides perspective from an older generation.
She believes in striving to succeed while maintaining her moral boundaries; she rejects Beneatha’s progressive and seemingly un-Christian sentiments about God, and Ruth’s consideration of an abortion disappoints her. Similarly, when Walter comes to her with his idea to invest in the liquor store venture, she condemns the idea and explains that she will not participate in such un-Christian business. Money is only a means to an end for Mama; dreams are more important to her than material wealth, and her dream is to own a house with a garden and yard in which Travis can play.
Mama is the most nurturing character in the play, and she constantly reminds Walter that all she has ever wanted is to make her children happy and provide for them.
Growing up and coming from where she has, Beneatha wants to become a doctor. Mama’s daughter and Walter’s sister. Beneatha is an intellectual. Twenty years old, she attends college and is better educated than the rest of the younger family. Some of her personal beliefs and views have distanced her from conservative Mama. She dreams of becoming a doctor and with her identity of a well-educated black woman....