A Raisin in the Sun
by Lorraine Hansberry
A Raisin in the Sun Poverty Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.
Anybody who talks to me has got to be a good-for-nothing loudmouth, ain’t he? And what you know about who is just a good-for-nothing loudmouth? Charlie Atkins was just a "good-for-nothing loudmouth" too, wasn’t he! When he wanted me to go in the dry-cleaning business with him. And now – he’s grossing a hundred thousand a year. A hundred thousand dollars a year! You still call him a loudmouth! (1.1.71)
Money is a consistent reason for dispute between Walter and Ruth. This quote seems to suggest that Walter doesn't care who he goes into business with as long as it will result in more money.
Yeah. You see, this little liquor store we got in mind cost seventy-five thousand and we figured the initial investment on the place be ‘bout thirty thousand, see. That be ten thousand each. Course, there’s a couple of hundred you got to pay so’s you don’t spend your life just waiting for them clowns to let your license get approved – (1.1.79)
Walter believes that investing a whole lot of money will earn his family their fortune. He gets a lot of crap from his family about this idea from his family, but on paper it's really not a terrible idea. Unfortunately, Walter's would-be business partner, Willy Harris, turns out to be a total crook. In the end, the Youngers remain in poverty.
…Baby, don’t nothing happen for you in this world ‘less you pay somebody off! (1.1.81)
Walter believes he needs to spend money in order to gain money. And, in this case, he means to spend money on a bribe to help get his liquor license. It seems like Walter's poverty has helped to make him perfectly willing to be a little shady in his business dealings.