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A Raisin in the Sun Essay

A Raisin in the Sun is a story of the Younger Family dealing with racial problems in Chicago slums. Ten thousand dollars arrives in the mail and Lena has to decide what to do with it. Bennie wants it for tuition money, Walter wants it for down payment for the liqueur store and Ruth just wants everyone to be happy. So there is three major events happening: (1) Lena decides to buy a house in a white neighborhood, (2) Lena entrusts the rest of the money to Walter telling him to save a good amount for Beneatha’s schooling and (3)Walter loses all the money in the liquor store scam. In all these dilemmas Lena has a plant that she talks and takes care of it through out the story. Mama’s plant symbolizes hope for the future. In act one scene one Mama says “ 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)” In the beginning that the plants needs sun because its in a room with a little window and Mama worries that it will not spring so it shows that even thought it does not have enough sun and it is still surviving so it wants to holding because it knows it will be in a better place and become stronger in the future. In act one scene one Mama says “They spirited all right, my children. Got to admit they got spirit- Bennie and Walter.. Like this little old plant that ain’t never had enough sunshine or nothing – and look at it…(Hansberry,52)” Mama Knows that Bennie and Walter are strong and do not just give up like that plant which shows hope for the future for both them to hold out for that soil and that house even thought it has racism they can get through it like the plant without the sun. Beneath: “Mama, what are you doing?” Mama:“ Fixing my plant so it won’t get hurt none on the way…” Beneatha: Mama, you going to take that to the new house?(Hansberry,121)” Mama: ”un-huh-” Beneatha: “ that raggedy-looking old thing?” Mama: It EXPRESSES ME!” Even thought Beneath tells Mama how the plant is old and worthless she knows that expresses her. Mama’s plant does not symbolizes anything because all she talks about is getting the garden since all she has is one plant so she says the houses in her neighborhood have their garden. “well, I always wanted me a garden like I used to see sometimes at the back of the houses down home. This plant is close as I ever got to having one.(Hansberry,53)” Lena just wanted to have a garden since she could not have one when she was little because she was a slave. So that plant is the closest thing she ever had to a garden. Although some may be able to argue that Mama’s plant does not symbolizes anything because she only wants a garden with her house. She wants a garden and that plant is the only thing she can have but it does mean the plant symbolizes hope because she treats the plant like one of her children she nurtures it and wants to take it to a new house to live. Mama’s plant is hope for the future because it thrived or lived through not having a lot of light through that small window in the apartment just like the family went through racism.


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