Walter is one of the most dynamic character’s because his character evolves throughout the play by changing from a caring, family man to a very selfish person, only looking out for himself, to then become a family man again at the end of the play. Walters fantasizes over living the “american dream” and thinks that money will solve all his problems. He hates his job as a chauffeur, which pushes him even more to want to make more money, and to have a more important job. Even though mama is extremely disappointed in Walter for losing all the money she still remains a supportive mother figure to him, which helps all the of the characters grow.
Mama: There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that then you ain’t learned nothing…. Its when he’s at his lowest and can’t believe in hisself’ cause the world done whipped him so!
This is said to Beneatha after she shows her dissapoint for losing all of the money, and basically ruining her future. Mama tells Beneatha that Walter needs her to be supportive, and that instead of constantly feeling sorry for herself, she should be crying for Walter. She explains for Beneatha that Walter has also been through a lot, and his intention for the liquor store were right, since he was going to use the money to give is family a better life. This is a very important quote because it shows no matter what her kids do, and how badly they mess up she will always be there to support them. Just like her plants throughout the play, mama nurtures, and cares for them hoping to watch them grow to their full potential.
Towards the end of the play we see a huge change in character when Walter stands up for his family and refuses the buyout offer from Mr. Linder.
Walter: And we have decided to move into our house my father-my father, he earned it for us brick by brick. We don’t want to make no trouble for nobody or fight no causes, and we will try to be good neighbors. And that’s all we got to say about that. We don’t want your money.
This is a huge step for Walter for becoming a more selfless person. Walter’s refusal to taking the money comes off a surprise to the family, since prior in the play he jeopardized Beneatha’s education, and mama’s insurance money because of his obsession with becoming rich. This scene shows a shift in his priorities as his focus is now on his family, and his family’s pride. The stage directions in this scene as Walter is standing up to Mr. Linder are also important… (Mama has her eyes closed and is rocking back and forth as though she was in church, with her head nodding the Amen yes). Mama has finally seen her son grow up, and become the family man that she has always wanted him to be, and is almost praying to God because of how happy she is to see this change.
Do you think Walter refused the buyout because his morals changed or because of pressure from his family? Which other characters have you seen evolve throughout the plan, and in what way?