In A Raisin in the Sun, Lorrain Hansberry depicts the Younger family as an ambitious group of people wanting either a little or a lot more for themselves. However small or grand their dreams are, the Youngers are a proud and humble family based on morals enforced by the matriarch of the family. Each of the characters in the play are trying to fulfill a goal in which society may limit their opportunities. However, with struggle comes hope. The Youngers try to attain the American dream through the hope of having endless opportunities, but realize that even with hope, the struggle continues. .
The Youngers are a Christian, African-American family living in the 1950s - an era when discrimination was still at its peak. The Youngers consist of Lena Younger (Mama), her two children: Walter Lee Younger and Beneatha Younger, Ruth Younger (Walter Lee's wife), and Ruth's and Walter's son, Travis Younger. The Youngers are a working class family trying to get by day by day with what they can. Mama says it herself, "We just plain working folks" (Hansberry 388). However, Mama is receiving a ten thousand dollar check from her late husband's life insurance. The family recognizes the insurance money as a turning point in their lives. Although Mama, Ruth, and Beneatha are more modest about the money, Walter Lee is trying to pitch a dream. The insurance money gives the Younger family hope. This is the chance to actually fulfill the American Dream. .
The American dream, according to LuElla Putnam, is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" (Putnam). The American Dream is being an American citizen and being able to attain success through equal and endless opportunities. Sharon Brubaker says, "They want success, respect, and a home. Simply stated, they are in pursuit of the American dream" (Brubaker).