Discuss male attitudes toward women in Raisin in the Sun.

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shake99 | Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Walter is the major male character in the play.  We see something of his attitude toward women very early in the play when he is speaking to his wife. Walter is trying to get his wife Ruth to listen to him about his plan to use his mother’s insurance money to buy a liquor store. Ruth doesn’t particularly want to hear about it:

Ruth: Walter, leave me alone! Eat your eggs, they gonna be cold.

Walter: That’s it. There you are. Man say to his woman: I got me a dream. His woman say: Eat your eggs.

With this exchange, we see that Walter expects to be supported by his wife. Walter continues to seek Ruth’s support despite her reasonable argument that his mother’s insurance money is not his to use.

A little later, Walter is chastising his sister Beneatha for her desire to use some of their mother’s money to go to medical school:

What fool told you you had to be a doctor? If you so crazy ‘bout messing ‘round with sick people—then go be a nurse like other women—or just get married and be quiet . . . “

Clearly, Walter feels that Beneatha has overstepped her boundaries with her non-traditional desire to be a doctor. The root of his anger is the fact that she will probably get some of their mother’s money for what she wants, but he will not.


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