A Raisin in the Sun

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Never appearing onstage, Willy Harris is Walter Lee’s supposed friend and business partner. Willy Harris swindles Walter Lee and Bobo out of their investments in the liquor store, disappearing with the money and leaving Walter in a state of despair and financial ruin. From the start, Ruth dislikes and distrusts Harris, calling him a “good-for-nothing loudmouth.”

Willy Harris Quotes in A Raisin in the Sun

The A Raisin in the Sun quotes below are all either spoken by Willy Harris or refer to Willy Harris. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Dreams Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of A Raisin in the Sun published in 2004.
Act 2, Scene 3 Quotes

Man, I trusted you . . . Man, I put my life in your hands . . . Man . . . THAT MONEY IS MADE OUT OF MY FATHER’S FLESH –

Related Characters: Walter Lee Younger (speaker), Walter Younger (Big Walter), Willy Harris
Related Symbols: The Insurance Payment
Page Number: 128
Explanation and Analysis:

During this quote, Bobo, Walter's business partner, comes to the Younger home to relay some news. Directly before this moment, Walter has been celebrating his investment on the liquor store with his family, regaling them with fantasies of fine clothes and celebrating the future. Bobo then enters and nervously tells Walter that he was supposed to meet Willy Harris to get the liquor license, but Willy never showed up. Bobo also tells Walter that Willy was the one who had all of the money. Bobo hasn't been able to reach Willy since. The money is gone.

Walter grabs Bobo by the collar and shakes him furiously. He is in shock and doesn't know what to do with himself. He tells Bobo that the money was his entire life. It was the money he inherited from his dead father, his very "flesh." Walter then reveals to the family that he gave Willy the entire $6,500 of insurance money instead of putting some away for Beneatha. 

Here Walter's dreams are shattered. Throughout the play his pride and manhood have been questioned and tirelessly compared to his father's. Here he realizes that the money was the last bit of his father's legacy, and it was also the last bit of Walter's pride. The money and the investment meant freedom for himself and his family, as well as his only opportunity to exercise choice and power. Now Walter is left with nothing, as his own ambition has gotten in the way of his father's dream for his family to have a better life. 


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Willy Harris Character Timeline in A Raisin in the Sun

The timeline below shows where the character Willy Harris appears in A Raisin in the Sun. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, Scene 1
Race, Discrimination, and Assimilation Theme Icon
Gender and Feminism Theme Icon
...“talking with people who understand me,” and Ruth correctly assumes that he is referring to Willy Harris . Ruth grows impatient, and Walter bitterly snaps that he is “tied up in a... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
Dreams Theme Icon
...to reveal Bobo, a “very slight” man with “haunted frightened eyes.” Walter asks Bobo where Willy Harris is, and Bobo responds that he isn’t with him. Walter remains jubilant and is unfazed... (full context)
Money Theme Icon
...Walter that he has “a real bad feeling” about the investment that they made with Willy Harris . Bobo tells Walter that Harris never showed up yesterday morning to make the planned... (full context)
Dreams Theme Icon
Money Theme Icon
Fully recognizing the implications of Willy’s disappearance, Walter breaks down, “crying out for Willy and looking for him or perhaps for... (full context)
Act 3
Dignity and Pride Theme Icon
Money Theme Icon
...mixed up” because of their preoccupation with “the right and the wrong.” He sarcastically thanks Willy Harris for teaching him how “to keep my eye on what counts in this world,” by... (full context)