Untitled Essay Research Paper By Erica RiveroA

Untitled Essay, Research Paper

By: Erica Rivero

A Raisin in the sun

topic: What is Walter Lee Youngs reaction to the association and how does

it transform him

Many black men have to deal with an organized racism that affects their role

in society. Walter Lee Younger has the unfortunate situation that he is

constantly posed on the edge of greatness, but steadily affixed to the certainty

of being the Achilles’ heel of society. I think to understand Walter and

his reaction to Mr. Linder, the representative from the Clybourne Park

Improvement Association, it is necessary to look at who Walter is, what Walter’s

situation is, how Walter’s reaction transforms him.

Walter Lee Younger

Walter is a very misunderstood man by his family. He feels surrounded by

dominating women who cannot see his dreams as more than silly talk. He has

so many dreams it is driving him out of his skin. He has the burning desire

for the American Dream, but with the circumstances of his surroundings, he

has not yet found a way to realize them. He is searching for his identity

with money; the job that he holds can only provide so much for the family

and he is not even capable of providing his son Travis with some pocket change

without becoming broke himself. Walter Younger is thirty-five years old and

all he will ever be is a limousine driver. He is unhappy with his job and

he desperately seeks for an opportunity to improve his family standing. He

is not ready to accept his station in life. He does not want to be the chauffeur

driver; he wants to be the man that retains the chauffeur. What type of

“breadwinner” can a black man be in America? He wants to provide for his

family and give them all their dreams: a house, an education, fancy clothes,

and the opportunity to be more than someone’s servant. At the beginning of

the book, we see how a family of five shares a one bedroom, dilapidated

apartment, on Chicago’s south side, which is similar to the Thomas’s living

conditions in Native Son. He sees his future just like Bigger Thomas in that

he is continuing the cycle of the poor, powerless black man. He is going

to be a servant dominated by the matriarchal black woman. He will stay in

the same rattrap that his father spent the majority of his life. In addition

to this, he will watch the same occurrence happen to his son. .

Walter’s Situation

Walter’s mama gives him the money for him to use as he wishes in hopes that

he will realize that money is not the only thing in life. This is an important

part of the process of maturing for Walter. If she had not given the money

to him then maybe he would spend the rest of his life thinking he would have

been successful with it, but was not given the chance. Ultimately, Walter’s

blind desire to get rich and his belief that money is life is what tears

him down and forces him to grow into man hood. He is naïve with the

American dream and is willing to chance his entire family for it. He loses

all of the money his mama entrusted him with, and in the process, Walter

shows a lack of character by using Beneatha’s money in his business deal,

even though its very risky and loses his only possession, his future. He

begins to believe that he will be forced to swallow his pride and learn to

bow to the “Man”. Out of utter desperation, he contacts Mr. Linder and invites

him over to !

arrange the details for the Association to buy the house from them. He assumes

he is being the man of the house, when all he is doing is selling all the

dreams his family has ever had, the only thing that has ever belonged solely

to them.

Walter’s Reaction and Transition

When Walter first encounters Mr. Linder, he is very gracious. Walter welcomes

him in with open arms, but quickly begins to realize that this man has not

come as a friend, but as a foe. He is quite surprised that Mr. Linder has

the nerve to come all the way to their apartment and make such an outrageous

request. He still holds the belief that money is life and people are not

divides by race, but by income level. His ideals seem to change after he

loses all the money; it is Walter’s dreams deferred and now he seems to dry

up like a raisin in the sun. He no longer believes in the American dream

he once held. He has come to believe that there are the people who have and

those who have not. He is the part that has not and he is going to sell his

soul to the devil to be the one who has. However, after an argument between

his sister and mother, he realizes his need for a change of attitude. When

Mr. Lindner arrives to give them the money Walter sees a light. He almost


s possessed by a higher or inner power; his attitude towards Mr. Linder is

of empowerment. Up to this point, his fixation with getting rich quick causes

a great deal of strife within the family because Walter’s greed seems to

hold the reigns of his power, and his family’s power as well. That is until

Walter refuses the offer and proclaims that the family will move into the

house. At this point Walter finally becomes a man in the eyes of his family

and gives power to himself. His fixation on money is at this moment appeased

by the life lesson he has learned. This is Walter’s time to be the man. He

realizes the sacrifice his father went through to provide this opportunity

for his family; that this house is made of his father’s blood and tears,

it is made up of five generations of blood, sweat and sacrifice. I found

this to be a very positive transformation for Walter because instead of letting

himself dry up with his dream, he decides to fight for his dream. He is no


nger the victim; he is a strong, powerful black man. The type of man

Bigger Thomas could have been if he had made the right choices. Walter Lee

Young has become a real threat to the dominating white society that represses



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