Genre and Literary period After the Depression around 1959.
Thaction of the play takes place in the poor South side of Chicago, sometime after World War II, probably around 1959. Most of the action takes place in the apartment of the Youngers, especially in the living/dining room and near the bathroom that they share with the Johnson family. Some of the action also takes place in the kitchen and in the two small bedrooms. The first bedroom is shared by Mama and her daughter, Beneatha; the second serves as a bedroom for Walter and his wife, Ruth. The furnishings in the Younger household are typical and tasteful, but worn; it is obvious that they have had to accommodate too many people for too many years. Additionally, the rooms are dark, for there are only a few small windows .
Walter's main problem, or antagonist, is himself. Dreaming of a better life, he follows a foolish get-rich scheme, investing the family insurance money in a business venture against his mother's wishes. Additionally, he also considers giving in to the pressure applied by the whites who do not want Walter and his family to move in to their neighborhood. .
The rising action really begins with the arrival of the check veryone seems to have plans for the money. Walter is sure that Mama will give him the money for his business venture; Beneatha is certain that the money will be used for her education. Only Ruth, the daughter-in-law, is wise enough to realize that it is Mama's money and she can spend it however she wants and should spend it on herself. .
When Mama uses a large portion of the money on a down payment on a house in Clybourne Park, an all-white neighborhood, everyone in the family has a different reaction. Ruth is overjoyed, for she has dreamed of moving out of the cramped, dingy apartment. Beneatha wonders if she will be deprived of her education. Walter is infuriated and blames Mama for stealing his future from him.