All the characters in this play are looking for a change of some kind, especially the Younger children, Beaneatha and Walter. Beneatha is a college student, who dreams of medical school. Throughout the play, she struggles with her identity and what she ultimately wants. Beneatha seems to want to make a change for herself in every way. She is a feminist, who wants women, especially black women, to have equal rights; she wants to maintain her ethnicity in an assimilationist society; she wants to express her ideas freely and independently, yet depends upon her family for most needs.
Walter is more clear in the change he wants: he wants a better life financially. He wants a better paying job, a nicer house, and expensive things. Therefore he wants to invest in a liquor store because he thinks it will make him rich. Walter is blinded however by he greed and he does not see that the change he is chasing is harming the family.
His mother, Lea, does dream of owning a new house with a garden, but mostly she wants her family to be happy together. She hates watching Walter distance himself from the family when he is chasing his dream or when he is ashamed of himself. Walter's wife, Ruth, shares many of the same feelings as Mama/Lea, but she also shows the stress of poverty more. Mostly, Ruth just wants any change that will bring Walter peace.