Why Do We Hurt the Ones We Love?

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Why Do We Hurt the Ones We Love?
“You love each other but can’t manage to communicate without arguing, fighting and ending up exhausted, each one in his corner, trying to lick his wounds and thinking of how to protect oneself against a new attack. And in spite of that..you love each other?” (Westt, James) Lorraine Hansberry’s acclaimed play A Raisin in the Sun, tells the story of the Youngers, a poor African American family in the 1950s. There are four of them, all living in a cramped and tiny apartment. They have a difficult life, and although their family is five generations of hard working people, they have little to show for it. With every person disagreeing on how they should spend the life insurance money, it’s no surprise that the Youngers get into arguments and fights and belittle one another on a regular basis. Through the hardships and difficulties that Walter and Beneatha went through, Hansberry was able to demonstrate that when faced with adversity, we often turn on the ones we love most.

Throughout most of the play, Walter has bursts of intense anger and lashes out at his family. Ruth is the one person who he loves most in the world, yet he treats her the worst out of everybody through the insensitive remarks he makes and the unreliability he shows to her. After one of Walter and Ruth’s fights in the play, Ruth tried to make peace with Walter and go back to the way things use to be between them. Walter responded with, “Who’s fighting you? Who even cares about you?” (II-1, 67). Although he does in fact care about her, he takes her for granted and doesn’t appreciate all that she does. That is one of the main reasons why people often hurt their spouses; they’re too busy thinking about themselves to be thankful for the love of their life who would do anything for them. Being the only man of the house, it is difficult for Walter to see the conditions that he and his family are living in and know that there is little he can do to change it to make their...
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