Ruth Younger- Walter’s wife and Travis’s mother. Ruth takes care of the Youngers’ small apartment. Her marriage to Walter has problems, but she hopes to rekindle their love. She is about thirty, but her weariness makes her seem older. Constantly fighting poverty and domestic troubles, she continues to be an emotionally strong woman. Her almost pessimistic pragmatism helps her to survive.Travis Younger- Walter and Ruth’s sheltered young son. Travis earns some money by carrying grocery bags and likes to play outside with other neighborhood children, but he has no bedroom and sleeps on the living-room sofa.Joseph Asagai- A Nigerian student in love with Beneatha. Asagai, as he is often called, is very proud of his African heritage, and Beneatha hopes to learn about her African heritage from him. He eventually proposes marriage to Beneatha and hopes she will return to Nigeria with him.George Murchison- A wealthy, African-American man who courts Beneatha. The Youngers approve of George, but Beneatha dislikes his willingness to submit to white culture and forget his African heritage. He challenges the thoughts and feelings of other black people through his arrogance and flair for intellectual competition.
Mr. Karl Lindner- The only white character in the play. Mr. Lindner arrives at the Youngers’ apartment from the Clybourne Park Improvement Association. He offers the Youngers a deal to reconsider moving into his (all-white) neighborhood.Bobo- One of Walter’s partners in the liquor store plan. Bobo appears to be as mentally slow as his nameindicates.Willy Harris- A friend of Walter and coordinator of the liquor store plan. Willy never appears onstage, which helps keep the focus of the story on the dynamics of the Younger family.Mrs. Johnson- The Youngers’ neighbor. Mrs. Johnson takes advantage of the Youngers’ hospitality and warns them about moving into a predominately white neighborhood.ThemesThemes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.The Value and Purpose of Dreams A Raisin in the Sunis essentially about dreams, as the main characters struggle to deal with the oppressivecircumstances that rule their lives. The title of the play references a conjecture that Langston Hughes famously posed in a poem he wrote about dreams that were forgotten or put off. He wonders whether those dreams shrivel up “like a raisin in the sun.” Every member of the Younger family has a separate, individual dream—Beneatha wants to become a doctor, for example, and Walter wants to have money so that he can afford things for his family. The Youngers struggle to attain these dreams throughout the play, and much of their happiness and depression is directly related to their attainment of, or failure to attain, these dreams. By the end of the play, they learn that the dream of a house is the most important dream because it unites the family.