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The Role Of Mama In A Raisin In The Sun

1008 words - 4 pages

In the 1950’s through the 1960’s women were not respected in there everyday lives, in the job field or in general. They did not have the rights they deserved, so during this time the “women’s movement” began. Women fought for their rights and fought for the self-respect that they thought they deserved. In the play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, the character Mama, expresses her feelings of pushing or extracting a new side for a woman. Her role explains that woman can be independent and can live for themselves. Through her behavior in this play she demonstrates that women can support and guide a family. Mama is in charge of the family, which is unusual, since men are traditionally the “head of a family”. Through Mama’s wisdom and dialect she expresses and portrays an image of pro-feminism. Mama’s experience in the play A Raisin in the Sun illustrates the expressions, the emotions, and the feeling with which Mama and women had to cope. She was able to characterize this through her passionate dreams, her control and her strong willed attitude.

Mama is a powerful, strong witted person. She has a lot of control in this play and dominates as a woman character. This is unusual because this is usually a male’s position in life. She is a woman, “who has adjusted to many things in life and overcome many more, her face is full of strength”. In this play she is illustrated as taking over for the head of the family and controls the lives of everyone in her house. Rules are followed to Mama’s extent. She controls what is said and done in her house. After Walter yells, “WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE LISTEN TO ME TODAY!” (70). Mama responds in a strong tone of voice saying, “I don’t ‘low no yellin’ in this house, Walter Lee, and you know it” (70). This shows that women could take the duties of a man and that women can survive on their own. She is an important character that is viewed as a significant figure. Mama’s behavior through the plays shows that women could play the role of being a man. She conducts the house to her satisfaction. When Beneatha says, “There simply is no blasted God—there is only man and it is he who makes miracles!” (51). Mama reacts by slapping her across the face to show her that this is her house and that she is in control. Not only did Mama control her family’s actions in her house, but she also controlled any guests’ actions in her household. Mama was the controller of the house and the whole neighborhood knew about it. Mrs. Johnson even reminded herself of Mama’s control by saying to Mama, “Oh I always forgets you don’t know ‘low that word in your house” (101). Mama illuminates her status of being woman with not only her control but also her attitude and her dreams.

As a woman, Mama’s...

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