The African-American experience of growing up in America altered dramatically throughout the course of the twentieth century, hence resulting in differing views between the older and more youthful generations. In Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, the character of Mother was raised during a time when racial bias was prevalent and blacks had virtually no opportunity to live out their dreams. On the other hand, her children, Walter and Beneatha, and her daughter-in-law, Ruth, mature in a world where slavery exists only in history books, and although they still deal with financial hardship and racial discrimination, it is possible for blacks to end up being effective service males and even medical professionals. The more youthful generation’s principle of the American dream reflects the changing times and the new opportunities that are now offered for African-Americans. As an outcome of this generation space, Mother and her children view the issues of faith, career choice, and abortion from exceptionally various angles, leading to much stress and anger in their relationship.
By viewing the imagine Mother in comparison to the imagine her kids, one can clearly see the generation gap that exists in between them. As a result of the altering times, Mom’s dreams vary exceptionally from those of her kids. She matured in a time of much injustice and hardship– a time when she was unable to live out the simplest of dreams. All Mother ever desired was a home with “a little garden in the back” (1209 ). After all, at that time it was the most an African-American could wish for. During the 1960s however, it is far more common for an African-American to own a home, and considering that Walter grows up with this possibility, owning a home is not a high goal to set for himself. Instead, he sets his sights on a lot more elaborate dream than his mom, in specific, being a successful business person able to “pull [a] vehicle up on the driveway” where his “gardener will be clipping away at the hedges” (1239-1240). Mother Walter’s dream, for she believes that they are not “company people,” but rather “simply plain working folks” (1208 ). She does not recognize that nowadays African-Americans have more chances than she had maturing, and that, according to Walter, “colored people [are not] going to start getting ahead [till] they begin betting on some different kinds of things worldwide, [such as] financial investments” (1208 ). Normally it would not be a problem for a grown male to make an investment that his mom does not authorize of. However, Mom has the 10 thousand dollars from her partner’s insurance money that Walter requires in order to start his business. Since Mama does not agree with her child’s choice to become a business person, more particularly an owner of an alcohol shop, she declines to give him the cash. After Walter finds out that his mom spent the cash on a down-payment for a home, thus fulfilling her own dream, he ends up being enraged. When Mama wants Walter to tell her that he believes she did the best thing, he insults her:
What you need me to state you done right for? … It was your cash and you did what you wanted with it. So you butchered up an imagine mine– you– who constantly talking ’bout your children’s dreams … (1233 ).
Thus, due to the fact that of their varying views on how the cash must be invested, Walter and Mom are continuously at odds with one another.
Mother’s disapproval does not stop with Walter’s choice to buy a liquor shop, but continues with Ruth’s decision to have an abortion. Mother has actually lived in hardship for her whole life, and it is due to the fact that of this poverty that she lost her baby, “little Claude” (1209 ). She believes that” [they] are … people who offer children life, not … destroy [it] (1223 ). Ruth, nevertheless, has had the opportunity to raise a healthy kid, and because she has actually never known any other way, she takes this for given. Ruth does not see her coming child as part of the family, and hence when identifying what is in her family’s best interest, she fails to think about the infant. Ruth comes to the conclusion that bringing another child into their currently crowded apartment or condo would be unreasonable to her family. Mom, on the other hand, is grateful for having the ability to have the opportunity to give birth to a healthy baby, because she understands that at the time numerous African-American babies were passing away from hardship, and simply a brief time before, from slavery. It is due to the fact that of this that she strongly disagrees with Ruth’s decision to have an abortion. Mama does not understand how a woman who has the chance to bring to life a child would even believe “about eliminating [it] (1223 ). When she informs Walter of Ruth’s choice, he is not able to say anything to his better half and leaves the space. Mother madly screams after him, “If you a boy of mine, tell her [not to have the abortion] You … you are a disgrace to your father’s memory” (1223 ). By reading this quote, one can see that more tension occurs in Walter and Mom’s relationship as an outcome of her strong position on the problem of abortion.
Mom likewise disapproves with the reality that Beneatha no longer thinks in God. Beneatha continuously considers approved the life that she is living, and when good fortune comes her method, such as the opportunity to end up being a physician, she believes that it is commonplace, and for that reason absolutely nothing to be happy for. Mama, on the other hand, matured in a time when good luck was difficult to come by. Whenever she is having a bumpy ride, she positions her faith in God and prays that whatever will end up all right. For instance, when Walter loses the money for his sis’s schooling, Mama asks God to “Look down here … and show [her] the strength” (1250 ). The concern of religion triggers lots of arguments to take place in between Beneatha and Mom, due to their different views. Beneatha, regardless of knowing that her mom is a religious lady, firmly insists that “there simply is no blasted God– there is just man and it is he who makes wonders” (1212 ). Mother, deeply upset and disappointed in her daughter, is not able to manage her anger. She slaps Beneatha throughout the face and insists she duplicate the phrase “In my mom’s house there is still God” (1212 ). In addition to this, Beneatha frequently uses the Lord’s name in vain, thus additional disturbing her mother. This consistent conflict eventually takes its toll on their relationship, leaving them to feel bitterness and pain towards one another.
Throughout the course of the twentieth century, the principle of the American dream changed significantly, as shown in Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun. Through reading the play, one can inform that a generation gap exists between Mom and her kids, for they see the world from extremely various angles. Their clashing views on the issues of faith, profession choice, and abortion result in many arguments in between them, and as a result, their relationship is characterized by animosity and stress.
Hansberry, Lorraine. “A Raisin in the Sun.” Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Compact ed. Ed. Robert DiYanni. New York City: McGraw-Hill, 2000. 1198-1260