Mama is from the generation that has worked to make a better life for the next generation. Mr. Younger's life has been marked by arduous toil; his death and the $10,000 insurance money provides his promise of affording his children a better life. Nevertheless, Mama wants to be prudent in dispensing with this hard-earned money, and she does not easily agree with other members of the family on how it should be spent. Walter Lee, who works as a chauffeur, dreams of being an entrepreneur; he desires are in the direction of owning his own business, specifically a liquor store; moreover, he is selfish in his expectations that Mama should primarily consider his goals.
In Act I, Walter Lee knows that his practical mother will not want to give him the insurance money for his business plans, so he suggests to his wife that she
...just sip your coffee, see, and say easy like you been thinking 'bout that deal Walter Lee so interested in, 'bout the store and all, and sip more coffee, like what you...
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