The Youngers are a closely knit but poor family to whom ten thousand dollars means a great deal. When the first act starts, it mentions a check, which contains ten thousand dollars (for life insurance). The Youngers all start to dream about various uses for the money. Benetha wants the money so she can go to college and become a doctor. Which seems like a good idea, but it would be very expensive and would take up most of the money. Walter Lee wants the money so he can invest it in a liquor store. Mama, who is the owner of the money, does not want to give it to Walter Lee to invest it though. Mama says that she would like to buy a house somewhere else, and get out of the apartment. Ruth seems to be on Mama's side throughout the act, and she continuously reminds Mama that it is her money, and she can do whatever she wants to do with it. Even though all these dreams are good dreams, there is only one problem, ten thousand dollars is not enough to: buy a house, pay for college, and to invest in a liquor store. This will cause much havoc in the household, and possibly many fights. Walter Lee seems to only care about the money, and is so bent on having it; he would do anything to have it. Benetha always dreamed of being the doctor. Moreover, Mama wanted to get that house. These conflicting dreams will eventually collide and there will be some dreams deferred.