Lena (Mama) Younger – A Dissection of Character
Personality and actions are definitive pieces of a person, but what makes someone’s identity wholly unique to that individual? A person’s core traits allow another being the ability to discern exactly what motivates that person. In the case of Lena Younger, or Mama as she is known, her identity rests on her pride as an African-American woman, the racially motivated world she has grown up in, and her immense love of her children. All of these life experiences coalesce to make her the strong and faithful matriarch of the Younger Clan that she is shown to be. Lena Younger has three dominant impressions that are a core essential to her character and include the following: (1) she is a proud person, (2) she is a courageous person, and (3) she is a loving person. Lena Youngers first dominant impression is her sense of pride. One example of this pride is when her son considers accepting Mr. Lindner’s offer to buy back their home. She indirectly insinuates that by doing this he is throwing away all his history and manhood. It demonstrates the value she weighs on pride and shows that she has much pride for where she came from. Another example is when Beneatha invites Asagai over to the apartment and Mama says “Ain’t you got no pride, look at this place?” She is concerned about appearance in home and because she has her sense of pride that will not allow someone to view her home in a filthy state. My own mother is somewhat like Lena is this regard as she would never think to allow someone over without the house being less than perfect for a guest. Another example of Mama Younger’s pride is when she speaks to her son, Walter Lee, about the implications of what he is about to do. He called Mr. Lindner over to negotiate what pay exactly the family would receive in exchange for not moving into their house they purchased because the white neighbors do not want them. She says “Son I come from five generations of...
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