This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Symbolism Of Mama's Plant In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

1426 words - 6 pages

Analyzing the Symbolism of Mama’s Plant
The play A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry is about the Youngers, an African-American family, who receive a $10,000 life insurance check as a result of the death of Mama Younger’s husband. The play takes place in the 1950’s making race an important factor during the process of buying a house due to the "red lining system”. The red lining system was a way to define the value of a neighborhood after World War II based on the dominant race in an area; when the dominant race of the neighborhood was white, the value of the neighborhood went up and categorized as green lining. Whereas when the dominant race was black, the value of a neighborhood went down and was categorized as red lining. Generally the houses in the green lining neighborhoods were bigger and had more yard space, and the red lining neighborhoods had smaller yards and more cramped quarters. Mama’s aspiration is for her and her family to move into a green lining neighborhood in order to have a bigger house and yard in order to create more opportunities for her children and grandchildren. Mama’s plant symbolizes her dream of moving into a green lining neighborhood when Hansberry mentions that the plant does not get enough sunlight, Mama takes care of the plant each morning, and it is brought to the Youngers new house.
Mama’s plant represents her dream of buying a house when she describes that the plant does not receive enough sunlight. Early on a Friday morning, Mama wakes up to Walter, her son, slamming a door after fighting with his sister, Beneatha, over what their fathers life insurance money should be used for. When Mama enters the room, she exclaims, “ ‘Lord, if this little old plant don’t get more sun than it’s been getting it ain’t never going to see spring again.’ ” (Hansberry 40). When Mama says this to Ruth, her daughter in law, she has both a literal and metaphorical meaning behind it. Mama literally means that if her plant does not get enough sunlight, it will not survive much longer; however, in metaphorical terms, Mama is saying that her husbands life insurance check is the last chance she has to buy a house, or she will not be able to achieve her dream within her lifetime. Later in the play, Beneatha and Mama have a disagreement, so Mama goes to their room to calm herself down; to try to diffuse the fight, Ruth attempts to get Mama out of her room by being telling Mama what Beneatha is saying and Beneatha what Mama ia saying. When Mama is convinced to leave her room, she starts talking to Ruth about Beneatha and Water when they were younger. Mama describes her childrens behavior as, “ ‘Like this little old plant that ain’t never had enough sunshine or nothing—and look at it…’ ” (52). When Mama says this to Ruth, the plant is symbolising Mama’s dream because her and her family never had enough money to buy a house, however, she never lost hope in her dream even when she was barely getting by. Her plant represents the...

Find Another Essay On The Symbolism of Mama's Plant in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

732 words - 3 pages The above passage taken from the play A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry between Mama and her son Walter shows how the author can address many themes of the play in one scene or even just a few lines; She addresses such themes as dreams, prejudice, and family. Mama is the head of the household where she lives with her son Walter and wife Ruth with their son Travis along with Walter’s sister Beneatha or Bennie as some like to call her

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

971 words - 4 pages A Raisin in the Sun A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, illustrates the timeless struggle for the furtherance of family values and morals with extreme clarity. The play follows the life of a small black family’s struggle to keep their dreams from tenants to owners alive. These dreams, and the struggles necessary to reach them, as well as coming to terms with the dreams that are out of reach, are the focus and driving force behind

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

1183 words - 5 pages Lorraine Hansberry’s novel, A Raisin in the Sun, revolves around a middle-class African-American family, struggling during World War II. By reading about the Younger’s true to life experiences, one learns many important life lessons. One of the aforementioned would be that a person should always put family’s needs before their own. There are many examples of this throughout the novel. Just a few of these would be the example of Ruth and her

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun - 920 words

920 words - 4 pages A Raisin in the Sun Throughout the play, A Raisin in the Sun, the character Beneatha talks about finding her identity. The concept of assimilation becomes very important to the Younger family. Neither of the members of the Younger family wanted to assimilate into mainstream America, they just want to live comfortably. The Youngers are an African American family living on the south side of Chicago in the 1950s. They were living during an era

Dreams Deferred in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun

930 words - 4 pages      Lorraine Hansberry, the author of A Raisin in the Sun, supports the theme of her play from a montage of, A Dream Deferred, by Langston Hughes. Hughes asks, “What happens to a dream deferred?” He suggests many alternatives to answering the question. That it might “dry up like a raisin in the sun,” or “fester like a sore.” Yet the play maybe more closely related to Hughes final question of the poem, “Or does it explode?” The play is full of

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun - Dreams and Racism

1894 words - 8 pages Dreams and Racism in A Raisin In The Sun At most times, the American Dream resembles an ideological puzzle more than a fully realizable image. Within the confines of her fantastical, theatrical world Lorraine Hansberry attempts to fit a few of these pieces together and, in the process, ends up showing exactly how everything doesn't just snap-together all nicely. The problems in her play, A Raisin In The Sun, deal primarily with the basic

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun - The Importance of the Struggle

1356 words - 5 pages The Importance of the Struggle in A Raisin in the Sun      “Why do some people persist despite insurmountable obstacles, while others give up quickly or never bother to try” (Gunton 118)? A Raisin in the Sun, a play by Lorraine Hansberry, is a commentary on life and our struggle to comprehend and control it. The last scene in the play between Asagai and Beneatha contrasts two contemporary views on why we keep on trying to change the future

Love and Sacrifice: Analysis of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun

1108 words - 4 pages Lauren Oliver once said, “I guess that’s just part of loving people: You have to give things up. Sometimes you even have to give them up” (Good Reads). This quote connects very well to the play, A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry. The quote conveys the message that if one loves someone, one must give things up. A Raisin in the Sun is about an African-American family living in the south side of Chicago in the 1950s. The Younger

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun - Dignity and the American Dream

1261 words - 5 pages Dignity and the American Dream in A Raisin in the Sun     The American Dream, although different for each of us, is what we all aspire to achieve. In Lorraine Hansberry's, play, A Raisin in the Sun, each member of the Younger family desperately hopes for their own opportunity to achieve the American Dream. The American Dream to the Younger family is to own a home, but beyond that, to Walter Younger, it is to be accepted by white society

Resolving Conflict and Overcoming Obstacles in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun

1351 words - 5 pages Criticisms. Detroit: Gale Research Incorporated, 1992. Hansberry, Lorraine.  A Raisin in the Sun.  New York:  Signet, 1988. May, Elaine Tyler. Homeward Bound. New York. Basic Books, 1988. Patterson, James T.  Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974. New York. Oxford University Press,1996. Wilkerson, Margaret B. "The Sighted Eyes and Feeling Heart of Lorraine Hansberry." Black American Literature Forum 17.1 (1983): 8-13.

The American Dream in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

2733 words - 11 pages possessions are what it takes to be happy. The American dream is to be rich. A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry, and Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Miller, both address the American Dream. Both plays discuss the desire for wealth and how the desire may lead to one’s downfall. However, each play is very different in addressing issues such as race and feminism. A Raisin in the Sun and Death of a Salesman have the same

Similar Essays

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

1829 words - 8 pages represent those who are ignorant of the fact that their dream will be deferred. This denial is the core of the concept used in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. The perception of the American Dream is one that is highly subjective, but every individual dream ends in its own deferment. During the 1960s, the African-American people were in racial situations due to their “lowered status”. They had no control over the strong beliefs in segregation

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun 817 Words

817 words - 3 pages Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun In the play, A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, one of the most important themes is the American Dream. Many of the characters in this play have hopes and aspirations; they all strive towards their goals throughout the play. However, many of the characters in the play have different dreams that clash with each other. Problems seem to arise when different people’s dreams conflict with one

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun 3913 Words

3913 words - 16 pages Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun A dream deferred is a dream put off to another time, much like this essay. But unlike dreams sometimes, this essay will get fulfilled and done with. Each character from A Raisin in the Sun had a deferred dream, even little Travis although his dream was not directly stated.      Their dreams become dried up like a raisin in the sun. Not just dreams are dried up though; Walter Lee and Ruth’s

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun 693 Words

693 words - 3 pages A Raisin in the Sun In A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry portrays obstacles that the Younger family and other African Americans had to face and over come during the post World War 2 era. Obstacles that had to be over come by the Youngers were economical, moral, social, and racist obstacles. Lorraine Hansberry, the author of the play had to face one of these as well growing up. Born in Chicago on the