A Rasin In The Sun, Walter Lee's Fursteration With His Socioeconomic Status

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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In society people sometimes become frustrated when they are surrounded by others who are more successful then they are. In Lorraine Hansberry's drama A Raisin In The Sun, Walter Lee becomes upset with George Murchison because George is a member of a wealthy family . Walter grew up in a tenement in Chicago, and he is frustrated that he still lives in a tenement as a grown man. Walter Lee resents the fact that George Murchison had many opportunities that he did not have. Because Walter is upset, he verbally abuses George, when George comes to pick Beneatha up for a date. Walter Lee has never gotten over his impoverished childhood.

As a child, Walter Lee was exposed to poor living conditions. Now a grown man still lives in a tenement, in a housing project in Chicago. Walter feels frustrated with the way his family lives.

Walter reminds the whole family, that they are not wealthy, for example " you tired aint you? Tired of everything, Me The boy the was WE live- this beat up Hole- everything so tired"¦ But you wont do anything to help" (32). Walter's resentment seems to grow each day he spends in his apartment.

George Murchison has lead a life of privilege and opportunity. George's family is wealthy and they have given him all of the things that Walter has never had. Because Walter resents George's education, He asks "Why all you college boys wear them faggoty looking white shoes"(83). Georges shoes are a symbol of all Walter does not have. Walter can not contain his anger when he is confronted with Georges affluence.

When George comes to pick up Beneatha for the play, Walter verbally abuses him, because that is the only way he can vent his anger. Walter thinks that George is wasting his time in college because he is not learning the basic skills that are necessary to succeed in life. Walter Asks George, "What the hell you learning over there, filling up your heads with sociology"¦ But they teaching you to be a man" (84, 85). Walter feels that he must insult George in order to feel better about him self.

Walter's lower socioeconomic status frustrates him, and causes him to mistreat George Murchison. Walter Lee's up bringing causes him to be filled with anger. George Murchison does not have the same angry feelings as Walter because he lives a life of privilege. No longer able to contain his anger, Walter erupts and verbally abuses George. The socioeconomic difference that are explored in this play are a part of society that will probably always exist.