Theme Of Greed In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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When people are poor, they often have a lot of problems in their life. They struggle through every day, but they learn to appreciate everything that they have. However, when people are going through tough times, they often think that money will solve all of their problems. In “A Raisin In The Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry, she guides the audience through a black family -- impacted by the need for money -- living on the south side of Chicago. The Younger family gets Lena Younger’s dead husband’s insurance check and buys a house in a white neighborhood, and they save the remainder of the money for Beneatha’s medical degree and for starting a liquor store. Willy Harris steals the $6,500 used to start the liquor store and for Beneatha’s college money,…show more content…
One way Hansberry demonstrates the negative impact of greed is by Asagai’s response to an event caused by greed. When Beneatha is upset about losing all of the money from the insurance check, Asagai says, “... isn’t there something wrong in a house -- in a world -- where all dreams, good or bad, must depend on the death of a man?” (Hansberry 238). He explains to Beneatha that money does not define a person’s life and goals, and that if she has a dream she can still fulfill it as long as she is sedulous. Hansberry uses Beneatha and Asagai’s conversation to show the reader that money does not have the power to make a person’s future immutable; a person can achieve all of his or her goals as long as he or she works hard enough. Another way Hansberry elucidates the impact of being greedy is when Ruth goes to get her baby aborted and Walter says nothing about it. Once the audience learns that Ruth is going to abort her baby, Lena says, “When the world gets ugly enough -- a woman will do anything for her family. The part that’s already living” (Hansberry 198). Ruth rationalizes her decision to kill her baby by stating that killing the child will leave more money for the family, and since Walter only wants to be rich, he is not willing to save his child. Hansberry uses Ruth’s attempt to abort her baby to show the reader that being too money focused can lead a person to sacrifice their own family members for the sake of earning more money. A final way Hansberry the audience recognizes the terrible impact of greed on people is through Lena’s response to Walter’s constant begging for money. Lena, a sapient woman, says to Walter, “... so now it’s life. Money is life. Once upon a time freedom used to be life -- now it’s money” (Hansberry 197-198). Lena’s trying to tell Walter that money does not determine a

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