Abstract illustration of the houses of Clybourne Park

A Raisin in the Sun

by Lorraine Hansberry
Start Free Trial

How does Walter change in A Raisin in the Sun?

Walter changes his perspective, attitude, and personality several times throughout A Raisin in the Sun, transforming from a desperate, selfish man into a bitter, resentful one after Lena purchases a home. Walter loses hope and begins drinking heavily. However, Walter changes once Lena gives him the money to invest in his dream and transforms into a grateful, pleasant man. By the end of the play, Walter changes into a man with integrity and honor by refusing to sell the home.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Walter Jr.'s attitude, personality, and outlook on life dramatically change several times throughout Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. At the beginning of the play, Walter Jr. is depicted as a self-centered, frustrated man who is not fulfilled by his meaningless occupation and anxious about the possibility of investing the insurance money into a liquor business. Walter also feels that the women in his family do not support his dream and becomes severely depressed when Lena informs him that she has spent the money on a home in Clybourne Park. Once Walter learns that Lena put a down payment on a home, he becomes emotionally unhinged and spends the majority of his days drinking. Walter Jr. develops into a bitter, jaded man who is only concerned with his dreams and completely neglects his wife.

When Lena sympathizes with Walter Jr. and agrees to give him the majority of the insurance money to invest in his dream and Beneatha's education, Walter Jr. experiences a dramatic transformation. Walter Jr.'s attitude significantly improves, and he is grateful for Lena's gift. Unfortunately, Walter Jr.'s business partner steals the money and ruins his dream of owning a liquor business. Walter Jr. also recognizes that his family's future is in jeopardy and once again transforms into a bitter, desperate man. At the end of the play, Walter Jr. is faced with the difficult decision to sell Lena's home back to the White community or reject Mr. Lindner's offer. Lena influences Walter Jr. to make the right decision, and he demonstrates integrity and honor by refusing to sell the home. By the end of the play, Walter Jr. transforms into a selfless, bold individual who is willing to put his family's dreams ahead of his own interests.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team