What is Lena's goal in A Raisin in the Sun?

In A Raisin in the Sun, Lena's goal is to buy a home for her family in a better neighborhood where they can live together and be happy. Although her dream clashes with the dreams of other family members and with the family's potential neighbors, Mama gets her way and her house in the end.

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In A Raisin in the Sun, Lena Younger, affectionately known as Mama, has long had a dream. It is a dream she once shared with her husband, who has since passed on, and it is a dream that she wants to make come true with the insurance money she has received after her husband's death.

Lena Younger wants to own a home. She wants to move her family (son Walter, daughter-in-law Ruth, grandson Travis, and daughter Beneatha) to a new neighborhood where they can spread out and enjoy a happy life in a house of their own. They can, Mama thinks, pull together as a family that way, and some of the conflicts between them might fade into the past.

But Mama's dream conflicts with the dreams of some members of her family who want to use the money in different ways. Beneatha is going to medical school, and that insurance money would go a long way toward her tuition. Walter wants to quit his job as a chauffeur and open his own liquor store. Ruth just wants to see Walter happy.

As the play continues, Mama uses part of the money to put a down payment on a home in Clybourne Park. This is an all-white neighborhood, however, and the Youngers' potential new neighbors do not want the family to move into their new home. Again, Mama's dream clashes with the dreams of others. The neighbors even send a representative, Mr. Lindner, to try to buy the Youngers off. If they stay away, he will pay them a significant sum. Mama refuses.

By the end of the play, the money is gone. Walter loses it in a scheme to buy a liquor store when his so-called partner takes Walter's investment and Beneath's tuition money and runs. Mr. Lindner tries one more time to convince the Youngers not to move to Clybourne Park, but Mama holds fast to her dream. They will move into their new home, and they will have a better life.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 17, 2021
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