How important is having money? Why is money more important for some than others?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Hansberry's work shows that having money is extremely important.  It can be used as a means to an end, a manner of wish and dream fulfillment.  The depiction of money in the play is one where individuals seek it out as a way to alleviate the condition of their present consciousness.  Walter sees it in this light.  He believes that money, specifically the money from his father's insurance settlement, will enable him to pursue his dream of opening a liquor store.  This is a dream that is important to Walter in order to alleviate the pain of his professional existence as a driver to wealthy people.  Mama Younger sees the money as a way of keeping her family intact and together.  She sees the family as a unit that is coming apart with Walter's disinterest, Beneatha's lack of focus in the family, Ruth's pregnancy, and an uncertain future for Travis as all elements conspiring to tear apart the family. In her mind, money represents a way to achieve her dream of maintaining family cohesion amidst a bevy of trying circumstances and conditions.

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