Walter Lee placed “money” above family until he declined Karl Linder’s offer to buy back the house, showing his family pride and continuing on the correct path to obtain the American dream. In the play “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry the main character Walter Lee Younger makes the respectable yet unlikely choice to do what is best for the family and not sell the house. Throughout the play, Walter is somebody who places “money” over family. And, it does not help that the family is expecting the life insurance check of Walter’s father, which is intended for a new house. But, during the third act, Walter faces a choice to set all his wrongs to right. This decision comes in the form of an offer to sell back the newly bought Younger home and continue to chase his selfish ambitions or be a true provider. However, by the end of the play Walter learns that no monetary value is greater than the essence family.
During the course of the play, it is revealed that Walter Lee’s perception of the American Dream is twisted into thinking that money is the only key to achieving success and happiness.
He doesn’t yet realize what the real meaning of the American Dream is and struggles to find it until the end of the play. Walter Lee is 35 years old and lives in a small apartment with all of his family, he dreams of ways to make money and improve his family’s life because they are all stuck cooped up in that small little apartment. The entire story mostly revolves around him because his decisions affect the family greatly and his mistakes make people angry at him. Walters’s mentality in the beginning of the story is that basically money can buy him and his family happiness and anything else they need. So it’s not long before he sees what appears to be a get rich fast scheme, and being that money makes his world go round, he’s interested. A group of his friends down at the bar where he usually spends a lot of his time come together with a plan to pool money together and open up a liquor store. Walter thinks that he will become a wealthy man and therefore will be able to support his family and care for them the way they should be cared for, but sometimes things are too good to be true. Walter will soon learn this lesson the very hard way. The main reason he agrees on this plan is because Walter has failed many times in his life and doesn’t want to fail as a father nor as a husband yet again. He relies on the money throughout most of the play to meet his family’s needs, instead of listening or believing his mama. He hopes for a much better life for his family, and is now dependent on the life insurance check that’s coming in the mail. Walter even manages to persuade his own wife Ruth to try and convince Mama to give him the money so that he may go through with this liquor store plan. “Did it come?...Mama – look. Old Willy Harris put everything on paper…”(Hansberry 1794) At least we can see that Walter still won’t give up his dream of owning a liquor store and tries to push Mama into giving him the money but she still refuses to. He then tells her that how he felt, as if she built him up to feel like he could do something. But then when Walter wanted to do something and open up a liquor store she refuses to give in. She tells him that she doesn’t want anyone in the family owning a liquor store. Walter still won’t give up and continues to go to the bar to talk with his friends who are in on the whole liquor store plan and tells them to not worry he will get the money.
After Mama, Lena Younger receives the life insurance check; she takes action and picks out a house for the family to move into. The worst mistake soon after was that Mama entrusts Walter Lee with $6,000 and detailed instructions, but things take a turn for the worst shortly after. By Mama giving Walter the remainder of the money which was 6,000 dollars she shows that she still believes in him to do the right thing and be…