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Conflict in A Raisin In The Sun Essay


In the story A Raisin in the Sun there are many conflicts present. The one main conflict is the one which existed between Walter and his family. This conflict is an example of person verses society, where society is Walters family. The conflict is revealed right at the beginning of the play, page one of act one. On page eighty-seven, Walter says, I been out talking with people who understand me. People who care about the things I got on my mind. In this quote it is apparent that Walter feels his family does not understand him and what he wants for his life. Walter becomes angry once again when he discovers that Mama has bought a house with their big check. Walter tells her, What you need me to say you done right for? You the head of this family. You run our lives like you want to. It was your money and you did what you wanted with it. So what you need for me to say it was all right for? (Saying this bitterly to hurt her as deeply as he knows is possible) So you butchered up a dream of mine-you-who always talking bout your childrens dreams (94-95). One last example of Walters conflict with his family can be found on page one hundred and four in the conversation between Walter and his wife Ruth. He shows his bitterness over his dreams being almost if not completely lost. Ruth: Walter its Mrs. Arnold Walter: (Indifferently) was it? Ruth: She said if you dont come in tomorrow that they are getting a new man Walter: Aint that sad-aint that crying sad. (104). Walter upset over Mama not giving him his money doesnt even care about losing his job. He becomes so despondent as if he doesnt care what happens in his life anymore.

The conflict in this story serves to develop the plot. To get past this conflict or continue with it, Walter and his family need to talk. Those heated conversations add color to the story. For example, Mama finally gives Walter some of the money when she comes to realize what the conflict is doing to her family. Listen to me, now. I say I been wrong, son. That I had been doing to you what the rest of the world been doing to youThere aint nothing worth holding onto, money, dreams, nothing else-if it means-if it means its going to destroy my boyI want you to take this money, put three thousand dollars in the savings account for Beneathas medical schooling. The rest you put in a checking account-with your name on it It aint much but its all I got in the world and Im putting it in your hands. Im telling you to be the head of this family from now on (106-107). This drives the story because it leads Walter to do things with the money therefore causing the story to continue. On page one hundred and seven, Walter talks to his son Travis about his dreams for the future and what he hopes for Travis. Walter: Son I feel like talking to you tonight. Travis: About what? Walter: Oh, about a lot of things, about you and what kind of man your going to be when you grow up... Walter becomes optimistic about the future after receiving the money from Mama. Readers eagerly read on to find out what plans he has for the money. We are surprised and shocked with the discovery that the investment Walter has made with Bobo and Willy Harris went sour and the money was lost. Mama: SonIs it gone? Son, I gave you sixty-five hundred dollars. Is it gone? All of it? Beneathas money too? Walter: MamaI neverwent to the bank at allIts all gone (129). From this quote readers cab conclude that life will never be the same again in this family. All the hopes and dreams that came with the money are now deferred.

In the end, although the conflict is resolved, its not necessarily for the better. The resolution comes about towards the end on page one hundred forty-three; Walter describes how very upset he is about how things turned out and how little control he had over this outcome. We see this when he says, Whats the matter with you all! I didnt make this world! It was given to me this wayI tell you I am a man This next quote from Mama shows that she sees and understands just how much of an impact the loss of this money has had on Walters well being. Have you cried for that boy today? I dont mean for yourself and for the family cause we lost the money. I mean for him: what he been through and what it done to him (145). A final example showing the resolution of the conflict is shown when the movers come to move them into their new home. Ruth, like the rest of the family, still sad over what happened becomes excited when the time comes to move out of their dumpy old house. Fortunately they had already put a down-payment on the new house before Walter lost the rest of the money. Ruth speaks her mind when she says: Well, for Gods sake-if the moving men are here-LETS GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE! (149).

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