How are the reactions of Walter, Benetha, and Mama similar in "A Rasin in the Sun"

Essay by fuzzellCollege, UndergraduateA-, April 2003

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Mama, Walter, and Beneatha all have the same response to learning that the money was stolen. Walter is the first to learn of its disappearance and reacts with disbelief. He repeatedly asks Bobo where Willy went. It is quite obvious to the reader that Willy has run off with the money but Walter refuses to accept this as we can see in his initial response "Gone where? You mean he went by himself. You mean he went off to Springfield by himself-..." (Hansberry 527). Then as he realizes the truth his reaction is much more profound. Walter falls to his knees in agony and immediately thinks of his father. Walter yells "That money is made out of my father's flesh" (Hansberry 527).

Mama then has much the same response. As initially her disbelief is quite obvious when she says "Son, I gave you sixty-five hundred dollars. Is it gone? All of it? Beneatha's money too?" (Hansberry 527).

Then as Walter did Mama gets much more upset. The stage directions say that Mama starts to beat her son senselessly in the face.

Beneatha's response of initial disbelief like that of Mama and Walter is obvious when she simply "Mama-"(Hansberry 528"). Beneatha's more emotional response happens later when Asagai comes over. She explodes at Asagai when he inquires as to what happened.

We can see that even though each character did react in a distinct way that a definite pattern is very obvious. Disbelief of what happened to their money that they wanted so much came first. Then a more violent and emotional response emerges perhaps as the characters think of the pains the father and husband went through to get the family that money.