A Raisin in the Sun" is set at in an area where racism was still occurring. Blacks were no longer separated but they were still facing many racial problems. The black Younger family faced these problems throughout the play. The entire family was affected in their own way. The family has big dreams and hope to make more of their poor lives. Walter, the main character, is forced to deal with most of the issues himself. Ruth, his wife, and Travis, his ten year old son, really don't have say in matters that he sets his mind to. Beneatha, his sister tries to get her word in but is often ignored. Lena is Walter's mother and is very concerned about her family. She tries to keep things held together despite all of the happenings. Mama's husband had just recently died so times seemed to be even harder. They all live in a small apartment when living space is very confined. They all have dreams in which they are trying to obtain, but other members of the family seem to hold back each other from obtaining them. .
Walter Lee Younger is an intense man in his middle thirties who works as a chauffeur, but his dream is to one day open up a liquor store. Walter has a very bad temper and tends to say things he doesn't mean. Walter and his wife have been getting into many fights in which he will show off his bad temper. Many times when Walter gets upset he goes out and gets drunk. Gerald Weales explains, "Of the four chief characters in the play, Walter Lee is the most complicated and the most impressive. He is often unlikable, occasionally cruel . The play is concerned primarily with his recognition that, as a man, he must begin from, not discard, himself, that dignity is a quality of men, not bank accounts". Walter Lee is more concerned with material things rather than the most important thing to someone, family. .
Racism is a major issue that has affected the United States since its discovery. Racism is the hatred by a person of one race pointed at a person of another race.