Travis in “A Raisin in the Sun”: Hope, Ambition & Dreams

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Travis: Ambition Amid Struggle

Throughout the 1950s, black life was depicted in Lorraine Hansberry’s play as one of the most genuine portrayals after the publication of the book around half a decade later. Hansberry’s unique critique for making life-like characters in the play as long as a book. Through the depiction of young Travis, the distinct portrayal shows that there can be ambition in the families that may be having a troublesome time and relief through comics that relate to the play and the book.

Travis: Comic Relief and Impact

The son of Walter and Ruth, named Travis, is an immense relief of comic relief at the beginning of the story when times are difficult and upsetting. The life of young Travis can be how, at the beginning when he is depicted sleeping in his bed, while in his case, he is on the couch as his mom tries to wake him up to go to school, which was important during the time period (25). In his gloomy and lonely apartment, many people can relate to the parenting or being a mother aspect that shows the caring aspect in some audiences of races or different classes.

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Although the child does not want to leave the couch where he sleeps, it still depicts that he enjoys the comfort and safe aspect of being in his apartment, although it is not the most ideal place to live for his family. When Walter asks Travis why he has to carry the groceries home from school, Travis phrases that it is his responsibility because his mom will not let him borrow two quarters. This depicts that it is more of a wrongdoing on Travis’s part as his dad gives him a whole dollar, although it is not the most ideal and honest decision to disobey his wife’s decision. Travis’s character does not only make the mood of the beginning of the play ambitious, but he also impacts other characters’ decisions later on in the play.

Travis’s Influence on Dreams

When Travis’s mom is having a difficult time spending money on the insurance on the house, Travis decides to lighten up his mom’s mood on what to decide. When Mama chooses to share the troubling news with the family, Travis states back, “I always wanted to live in a house” (91). The audience knows that Travis is just a kid that likes to believe in what he would like in order to help out the family, but he does not know that he is just making his mother feel bad about the situation she is going through.

This will be an immense change in his life because it could change the way he thinks about Young people. Although Ruth could not disguise her happiness during the frustrating news, she still plans on punishing Travis for being out too late past his curfew during the same scene in the play and thinks about not following through. She feels regret by saying to herself that she doesn’t “feel like whipping anyone today!” (94). It can be very easy to get involved in the situation of Walter’s character as he gets frustrated with the decision of Travis’s mom. The immediate concern of all the adults about Travis’s future during this time is what keeps imaginative thinking in a dreaming child during a difficult time. This relates back to the theme of dreams throughout the play.

Travis: Hope Amid Challenges

In the situation of Travis’s life throughout the play, dreams are an important factor in how his dreams might turn out to be hopeless, which relates perfectly to the title of the play, A Raisin in the Sun. In life, people in their childhood bring out hopefulness and have an immense impact on what their peers can relate back to in troubling dilemmas. This brings many possibilities later in the life of the Younger family.


  1. Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. Vintage Books, 1959.
  2. Stuckey, Sterling. “Race and Realism in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.” American Literature, vol. 60, no. 4, 1988, pp. 562-578.
  3. Bloom, Harold, editor. Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. Infobase Publishing, 2008.
  4. Watson, Steven. “Childhood Dreams and Social Realities in A Raisin in the Sun.” Modern Drama, vol. 58, no. 4, 2015, pp. 501-520.
  5. Loos, Pamela, and Anne Fleche, editors. Lorraine Hansberry: A Research and Production Sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999.

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Travis in "A Raisin in the Sun": Hope, Ambition & Dreams. (2023, Aug 14). Retrieved from

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