Restoration of Happiness
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry expresses the struggles of an African American family during the 1950’s. Hansberry wrote this story in third person point of view. The Younger family lives in a dark, rundown two bedroom apartment on the southern side of Chicago. When Mama’s husband dies, the family receives a check from his life insurance. When the money arrives, Mama decides to buy a new house in a white neighborhood. Mr. Lindner tries to persuade the family not to move, but Walter steps up and declines. The final resolution, or dénouement, is when the Younger family finally decides to move into their new home. At this part in the drama, it is evident the new home symbolizes the Younger family’s restoration of happiness by pursuing the American dream.
The new home helps Walter transform into the man of the household. The character development of Walter is a very important aspect to the drama. Mama and Walter are foil characters. At the beginning of the play, Mama asks “Son- how come you talk so much ‘bout money?” Walter passionately replies, “Because it is life, Mama!” (1.2.). When Walter declines the offer, he realizes that family is more important than money. As readers, we do not expect Walter to turn down the offer from Lindner. This is an example of situational irony, because the outcome is different from what is anticipated. When Walter moves into the new house, his desperation leaves and happiness begins to arrive. This shows a growth in Walter’s characterization.
The plant proves that the new home restores the family’s happiness. Without any question, the plant in the apartment is a symbol for the family. It also represents Mama’s dream to own a house. Throughout the play, Mama tries her best to nourish the plant comparable to the way she tries to take care of her family. The play continues to die until Walter declines the offer from Mr. Lindner. At the end of the play, the family moves to the white neighborhood, and...