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RUTH: We didn’t have any money to invest. WALTER: That was true, then. This is now, baby. This is our time. RUTH: If you’re alluding to that $10,000 check, forget it. That’s your daddy’s insurance money, and it belongs to your mama. WALTER: I have a plan. I can open a shop with Bobo. Think about it. You wouldn't have to wash other peop1e’s clothes, and I wouldn't chauffeur anymore. RUTH: We have nothing to do with that check. WALTER: Mama listens to you. All you have to do is ask her. Tell her you think it’s a great idea. RUTH: All your schemes go nowhere! WALTER: Listen to me! It normally costs $75,000 to open a store, but Willy Harris knows someone who can get us in for $30,000. Split three ways, that’s $10,000. RUTH: Eat your eggs. WALTER: I share a bathroom with two floors of people. I’m 35 years old, married 11 years, and my son sleeps in the living room. The only stories I have for him are about rich people. BENEATHA (walking in): Good morning! WALTER: You don't look so good in the morning. RUTH: Don’t be insolent to your sister, Walter. WALTER: So Beneatha, how much exactly is it going to cost for you to go to medical school and be a doctor? BENEATHA: It’s Mama’s money. If she wants to spend it on medical school, she can. WALTER: I'm sick to death of you wandering around here all high and mighty. RUTH: Walter, go to Work! WALTER (leaving): Nobody in this house is ever going to under stand me. BENEATHA: That's because you're a nut! SCENE 2 (Later that afternoon, Ruth irons clothes from a basket. Lena, Ruth's mother-in-law, walks in carrying groceries.) RUTH: How was your last day as a housekeeper? LENA: It hasn't settled in yet that I'm retired. RUTH: It will on Monday morning when you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn. So, how are you going to spend that $10,000? LENA: I haven't decided yet. There’s the money for Beneatha’s schooling. That much is decided. My husband would have wanted it that way. He believed in dreams. RUTH: You should travel the world with it. LENA: Or, we could get a house with a yard for Travis to play in.

A Raisin in the Sun
Based on the play by Lorraine Hansberry
Will the arrival of a $10,000 check solve a family's problems, or will it tear them apart?

The Younger family.

CAST OF CHARACTERS WALTER LEE YOUNGER LENA YOUNGER (aka MAMA) RUTH YOUNGER BENEATHA YOUNGER TRAVIS YOUNGER KARL LINDNER BOBO ACT 1 SCENE 1 Setting: Chicago, 1958 (It’s a dreary morning in the Younger family’s poor Chicago neighborhood. They live 'in a tiny three-room apartment with one bathroom that they share with the neighbors. Ruth is making breakfast for her family while they get ready.) TRAVIS: Mom, can I have 50 cents for school? RUTH: No, we don't have it, honey. (Travis’s dad, Walter, gives him the money anyway.) TRAVIS (running our the door): Thanks, Daddy! RUTH (glaring at Walter): Eat your eggs. WALTER: Hey, remember when Charlie Atkins asked me to go into the dry-cleaning business with him? New he makes a hundred thousand dollars a year. That could have been me!


RUTH: It’s a good thing you're doing, paying for Beneatha’s school. LENA: She deserves it. She works hard. RUTH: I know, but it’s not like you to help one child without helping the other. LENA: Walter's investment schemes give me a bad feeling. RUTH: I'm worried about what will happen if something doesn't break for him soon—something to make him feel better about himself and less hapless. LENA: We aren’t business people, Ruth. RUTH: I know, I guess I'm just desperate. It’s something deep inside that’s eating him up. He needs this chance. LENA: I will take it to heart, but I can’t throw my husbands insurance money on a hair-brained scheme. SCENE 3 (The next morning, the family waits anxiously for the check to arrive. When the bell rings, Travis runs downstairs and returns with the envelope. Lena opens the letter nervously and holds the check up to the light.) TRAVIS: You’re rich! $10,000! LENA (sadly): $10,000 ...that’s somebody’s idea of what my husband was worth. If it wasn't for my family, I'd give it to charity. WALTER (trying to hand her a legal document): Mama, look at this. Willy wrote it all down. It’s all official. LENA: I will not invest in your shop. WALTER: Just look at this business plan. LENA: I’m the head of this family. I say no! WALTER: That's it then? You just decide that this is how we’re going to live? Fine. You tell that to my boy who has to sleep on the sofa. Tell my wife when she’s cleaning someone e1se’s dirty laundry. Tell yourself when you’re making food in somebody’s kitchen that your own family can’t afford to eat! LENA: Walter Lee! Sit down. What is wrong with you? WALTER: Nothing! LENA: Honey, you have a job already. WALTER: A job? I drive a man around and say "yes, sir" and "no sir” all day long! LENA: In my time, we worried about how to stay alive. WALTER: I have bigger dreams. I want to be more! When I drive downtown I pass cool, fancy restaurants where boys younger than I am work million-dollar deals. LENA: So it's all about money. WALTER: Yes. Money is life. LENA: So now it's life. I remember when freedom was life. Now it's money. WALTER: I don't expect you to understand what this family needs.

LENA (grabbing her purse): I know what this family needs. (Lena leaves the apartment in a hurry.)
Walter Lee and his mother, Lena.

ACT 2 SCENE 1 (Lena returns that night and makes an announcement.) LENA: Guess what I did with the money? I bought a house! RUTH: Oh praise the Lord! LENA: It has three bedrooms, a yard, and a basement. And it's ours. RUTH: Where is it? LENA: Clybourne Park. WALTER: But that’s a white neighborhood. LENA: Look, I got the biggest house for the least amount of money. RUTH: Time to say goodbye to these cracked walls, the cockroaches, the cramped bedrooms, and tiny closets. Goodbye misery! I don’t want to see your ugly face again! LENA (to a furious Walter): Son, I in did this for our family. Please say something. Say how you know I did me right thing. WALTER: Why do you need me to say anything? You’re the head of this family. You run our lives. Who cares if you butchered my dream? (Lena begins to cry as she pulls an envelope from her purse.) LENA: Don't say that. Listen, I put $3,500 on the house. That leaves $6,500. Put $3,000 in the bank for Beneatha’s tuition, and the rest is yours. I know it isn’t as much as you wanted, but it’s all I have left in the world. (Walter picks up the envelope slowly.) LENA: You’re the head of this family now. I leave it up to you. WALTER: You trust me, Mama?


LENA: I never stopped trusting you, like I never stopped loving you. WALTER (smiling): Mama, I’m going to make a better life for us with this money. (Walter calls Bobo and Willy to tell them that he has the money for the store. The Youngers all go to bed happier than they’ve been in a long time.)

SCENE 3 (The next day is moving day. All of the Youngers’ possessions are packed in boxes. Walter’s friend Bobo wanders in looking frightened.) BOBO: Walter, we need to talk. WALTER: Where’s Willy? What is going on? (Walter and Bobo step into the hall to talk.) BOBO: You know how Willy and I were supposed to go to Springfield with our money to get the licenses for the store? WALTER: Yes... BOBO: Well, I decided not to go, and when I went to pick up Willy at the train station, he wasn’t there. WALTER: Did you wait? Maybe he was late. BOBO: I waited six hours. WALTER: Maybe he took a later train... BOBO: Walter. He took our money. It’s gone. It was all the money my wife and I had—our life savings. WALTER: No, Bobo. No. Don’t let it be true. That money was my father's flesh... (Walter walks back into the apartment, where the family waits, sensing something is terribly wrong.) WALTER: Mama, it’s gone. And I never went to the bank— LENA: —your sister's money for school! You used that too? WALTER: Yes. It’s gone. All of it. LENA: I watched my husband grow old before his time. I watched him working day after clay, so that we would have enough money when he died. And you gave it all away in a single day? SCENE 4 (A while later, Beneatha is sitting outside the apartment when her college friend Joseph Asagai walks up.) JOSEPH: What's wrong? BENEATHA: My brother gave away the insurance money. It’s gone. JOSEPH: I am so sorry. BENEATHA: Mama is the crazy one for falling for Walter’s scheme and throwing our lives away. JOSEPH: Perhaps you don’t understand some things as well as your mother. What will happen to you? BENEATHA: Me? Who knows? It’s just as well. Why would anyone want to be a doctor in this world, anyway? JOSEPH: I never thought I would see you in such despair after such a small defeat. BENEATHA: Small? We’ve been wiped out. JOSEPH: Was it your money? BENEATHA: It belonged to all of us.

Travis watches Mr. Linder prepare a contract to buy back the Youngers’ new house.

SCENE 2 (The next day while Travis and Lena go to church, there’s a knock at the door. Walter answers. In the doorway stands an embarrassed-looking white man.) MR. LINDNER: I'm Karl Lindner. I'm looking fur Mrs. Lena Younger. WALTER: She’s not here. But I’m her son, and you can talk to me. Please come in. MR. LINDNER: Thank you. I represent the Clybourne Park Improvement Association. It’s a community group set up to look after things in the neighborhood. We also go around to see the new people moving in. RUTH: Would you like another chair? You don’t look comfortable. MR. LINDNER: No, thank you. I'll just get right to the point. We believe you would be more comfortable living in your own community. RUTH: Our own community? MR. LINDNER: We believe that it suits people to live with people who share the same . . .background. We’re prepared to make your family a generous offer on that house. WALTER: Absolutely not. Do you have anything else to say? MR. LINDNER: You can’t force people to— WALTER: Get out of my house! (When Lena and Travis get home, Walter tells them what happened, but they are too excited about the future to let anything bring down their spirits.)


JOSEPH: Did you earn it? BENEATHA: My father earned it. JOSEPH: And he died to make it available. What if he hadn't died? What would happen to your dreams then? There's something wrong when all the dreams in a house depend on a man dying. BENEATHA: I need to think.
Walter talks to Mr. Lidner in front of his son Travis.

ACT 3 SCENE 1 (Later that clay, Lena walks in wearily. Ruth, Travis, and Beneatha sit in silence.) LENA: Well, now. We should stop moping, unpack our stuff, and tell the moving men to go home. RUTH: Why? We can still move! LENA: We can use the money from the house on Beneatha’s schooling. Sometimes you have to know when to give up some things, and hold on to what you have left. BENEATHA (to Walter): I look at you and see the final triumph of stupidity in the world! WALTER: I just made a call to Mr. Lindner. I told him to come back. LENA: Are you talking about taking those people’s money not to move into Clybourne Park? WALTER: That man will be able to write a check for more money than we ever had--maybe more than what Daddy left us. LENA: I come from Eve generations of slaves and sharecroppers and nobody, nobody in my family ever let somebody pay them money as a way of telling us that we aren’t fit to walk the Earth. We are not that poor or that dead inside.

WALTER: I didn’t make this immutable world, Mama. It was given to me this way. LENA: If you do this, you won’t have anything left inside. (Walter suddenly freezes up and walks into the bedroom.) BENEATHA: Call the undertaker. That was the end of Walter Lee. LENA: Are you mourning your brother. BENEATHA: That man is no brother of mine. LENA: Your daddy and I taught you better than that. BENEATHA: There’s nothing left to love. RUTH: There's always something left to love. LENA: Beneatha, have you cried for Walter today—not for yourself—but cried for what he’s been through? When do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they do something well? The time to love is when somebody is at their lowest and can’t believe in themselves anymore. (Mr. Lindner appears in the doorway. Walter comes out of his bedroom.) RUTH: Go play outside, Travis. LENA: No, you stay right here, Travis. (to Walter) Time to teach your son about what counts in this world. Show your son. (Walter looks at Travis intently.) MR. LINDNER: Mr. Younger? WALTER: We’re honest people, Mr. Lindner. I work as a driver, my wife does laundry... MR. LINDNER: I understand. WALTER: No, you don't. There’s something in all this about pride. I have a sister who wants to be a doctor, and I know she’ll do it. My wife deserves whatever little of the world I can give her, and my son makes the sixth generation of Youngers. Well, we are moving into our new house in your neighborhood because it’s my father's house. He earned it, he bought it, and he expects us to live in it. (The room erupts in joy.) MR. LINDNER (to Lena): I appeal to you, Mrs. Younger. You’re older and wiser and know more about the world. LENA: There’s nothing left to say, Mr. Lindner. (As Lindner leaves the apartment, the Youngers embrace one another.) LENA: Walter, you are your father’s son. WALTER: Hey, let’s get moving! We have a new house waiting for us to arrive! (Beneatha, Walter, and Travis carry boxes outside to the moving van. Lena and Ruth pause, looking around at the nearly empty apartment. ) LENA (smiling): Today, Walter Lee became a man. THE END


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