Throughout the play, we see the characters in "A Raisin in the Sun" postponement of dreams. Ruth, Walter Lee's wife, finds herself conflicted as she determines how to handle an unexpected pregnancy while continually worrying about her family's day-to-day budget. In Act I, her son Travis asks for 50 cents, but knowing the family cannot spare the change, she must deny him the money.
For a moment, the family believes that Mama's insurance check will solve the family's financial worries. Mama invests in the family by buying a new house in a white neighborhood. For a few moments that family has hope. Ruth sees that her family be financially secure and be able to move out of the South Side. We see Ruth and Walter go to the movies, and Ruth buys curtains for the new house. However, their happiness is short lived when Walter Lee loses the money in a bad investment. Ruth, and the family's, dream must be put on hold. While the family will still move into the neighborhood, they will have to continue to work, to struggle, and to fight to stay solvent and together.