A Raisin in the Sun
How we cite our quotes:
Oh – (Very quietly)
So now it's life. Money is life. Once upon a time freedom used to be life – now it's money. I guess the world really do change… (1.2.229)
This statement from Lena shows a real generational gap between her and her son. There's a good chance that her parents were born slaves. Lena would have grown up with the idea that just being free was a big accomplishment. However, Walter is further separated from slavery and so being a free man just isn't enough. To him, the goal is to make money and move up the socioeconomic ladder. What do you think about this? Is Walter not appreciating what he has? Or is Lena just out of touch with the times?
Listen, man, I got some plans that could turn this city upside down. I mean think like he does. Big. Invest big, gamble big, hell, lose big if you have to, you know what I mean. (2.1.77)
As is proven later by his dealings with Willy, Walter is willing to put a lot on the line in order to earn money. It seems like his life of poverty has made him a bit reckless. The ironic part is that it's this recklessness that lands him back in poverty by the end of the play.