A Raisin in the Sun Questions and Answers
by Lorraine Hansberry

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Can someone explain the differences and similarities between Walter and Beneatha from A Raisin in the Sun?

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Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Walter Younger and his sister Beneatha are very similar in most ways. They are both African Americans living with their mother in a small apartment in a poor neighborhood of Chicago. Lorraine Hansberry wrote the play in the late 1950s, but it may be set after World War Two and before the advent of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. The time period is important because of the limits then imposed on African Americans by the racism in American society. Both are looking ahead to ways to improve their lives for benefit of themselves and others. Walter wants to become a business owner so that he can earn a better living and provide a positive role model for his son. Beneatha plans to become a doctor, and considers moving to Africa, so that she can help people in need.

The differences between them involve their age, gender, and marital status. Walter is about 30, is married, and has a 10-year-old son; he also learns during the course of the play that he and his wife, Ruth , are expecting another child....

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