A Raisin in the Sun Questions and Answers
by Lorraine Hansberry

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Describe the relationship between Mama and Walter in the play A Raisin in the Sun.

In A Raisin in the Sun, Mama and Walter engage in a power struggle which revolves around the insurance money. Walter feels that Mama does not support his dream and resents her for purchasing a new home. Mama sympathizes with his situation and gives him the remainder of the money. After Walter loses the money, Mama encourages her son, and he supports her dream by refusing to sell the home. Fortunately, their love for each other supersedes their financial situation.

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Mama and Walter are at odds and struggle to see eye-to-eye on how to spend the insurance check of ten thousand dollars. In the play, Mama is depicted as a religious, traditional woman who simply wants to move out of her small, outdated apartment in the South Side. Although Mama loves her children and values their opinions, she does not feel comfortable investing in Walter's liquor business. Walter's business venture does not align with her Christian beliefs, and she understands that her son has no business experience. Mama's initial refusal to invest in her son's business upsets Walter, who becomes extremely depressed and begins drinking heavily when he discovers that she put a down payment on a home.

Walter feels like no one in his family supports his dreams and fears that he will continue to experience an unfulfilled, difficult life. Walter resents Mama for spending the insurance money and fears that she made the wrong decision by purchasing a home in a White neighborhood. Once Mama...

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