Mama has dreams for her family to rise from poverty and live in a better and bigger place and also for them to continue to grow together as a family. Mama has a plant that she also cares for. She takes care of this plant as if it was one of her own children. Mama's children also have their own dreams and their own plans on how to attain those dreams. The family's competing dreams are emphasized by Hansberry's recurring use of the motif--Mama's plant.
In the opening scene of the play Mama goes to her plant and nurtures it. Mama tries to instill the value of family importance to her children as she struggles to keep them together and functioning (Kohorn). The plant symbolizes Mama's dreams of owning her own house. She uses part of the money to put a down payment on a house in a white neighborhood.
Beneatha is Mama's youngest child. She aspires to become a doctor. Mama wants Beneatha to become what she wants so she decided to put aside some of the insurance money for Beneatha's schooling. Beneatha struggles as a young independent woman who has yet to find her identity. She finds herself trying new hobbies and dating two very different men. During a conversation with one of those men, Asagai, Beneatha is forced by Asagai to realize that she is not very independent at all. In fact she has been depending on the insurance money to get her through school. After this realization, Beneatha gains thoughts on how to achieve her dream of becoming a doctor (Kohorn). She presents her mother with her decision of getting married and how she "plans to find her roots in Africa" with Asagai (Silver).
Walter wants the insurance money so that he can prove that he is capable of making a future for his family. By doing well in business, Walter thinks that he can buy his family happiness. Mama cares for Walter deeply and hates seeing him suffer so she gave into his idea. Mama gives Walter the rest of the money and tells him to...