In the play A Raisin in the Sun written by Lorraine Hansberry, family unity appears sometimes as the enemy and at other times, it is the friend. As the play progresses the unity of the family is often questioned. In both the play and the film, family unity is often forgotten by the characters during a family crisis, whether it concerns money or health. In the film, the actions and reactions of the characters match almost perfectly to the written play. The film and play both show how the family reunites when they have the $10,000 insurance check in their possession.
From the moment the family receives the insurance money, family unity is something that weaves in and out of the Younger's lives. The story takes place in a three-room flat in Chicago. The producers of the movie wanted the audience to 'feel the discomforts and indignities of the five people living too close together' as Commonweal describes the Younger's situation. This factor contributes to the contrasting personalities of each character. Not having room for privacy, each character feels suffocated by one another. Everyone has to hurry to do anything. They have to share a bathroom with other families living on the same floo . . It is about the unity of their family, not so much about eagerness for money. Walter Lee bickers with his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, and even with his own son Travis. To each individual, the $10,000 check is what determines the rest of their life. Lena Younger, the mother and the head of the family is a very strong character. Ruth is the housewife that tries to keep everyone on time for everything. She is a character that tries to keep Walter Lee from getting a hold of the insurance money. The play and film were engaging to the audience, because everyone can somewhat relate to this plot.
For Walter Lee, the money means a chance to live his dream of a businessman. In the film, Claudia McNeil acts out the exact personality of Lena Younger. Many things influenced the unity of the Younger family. The world has always evolved around money, but sometimes it takes over our actions towards our loved ones. When money is scarce, the Younger's tend to get overstressed and intolerable to one another. He lies to his family in order to get the insurance money for his liquor store dream. They are so caught up with their jobs that they wake up angry instead of enjoying the gift of living another day with each other.