Keeping It Together
What a loving mother! Lena Younger, or Mama, is nurturing and supportive when it comes to raising and maintaining a family. Personally speaking, being nurturing means to love, care for, and show concern over someone. Analyzing Mama's relationships with family members can show us her view on parenting and ultimately show us her devotion to her family. In A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, Mama is a nurturing mother who cares for and protects her family in her struggle to keep them unified.
Not only does Lena Younger protect Travis from getting yelled at by his mother, but also she protects his feelings. At this point in the play Mama's nurturing attitude is seen through her defending Travis from the authority of his mother. On one occasion Travis gives his grandmother a gift, a hat which he is very proud of. At the sight of her gift the rest of the family breaks out in laughter. Without skipping a beat Mama's nurturing bursts out. She quickly snaps, "What's the matter with you all! This here is a beautiful hat!" (Hansberry 1433). To me this can be seen as commanding respect for Travis. By automatically respecting Travis, the family could be brought closer together and could display a sense of equality. Mama is a loving, nurturing woman and her interactions with her grandson express this point.
Mama's most blatant act of unification of this family is centered around Travis. Upon coming back to the house after playing all day, Travis gets snapped at by his mother and then Mama tells him with she has done for him. Mama looks at Travis and says that she "
went out and
bought you a house!
It's going to be yours when you get to be a man" (1417). This gift to Travis serves two purposes. Not only does it provide him with a stepping stone for starting his own family but also it is a tie that will bind the Youngers closer together. Mama knows that money and living space is a difficulty for her family. Mama's gift to...
Cited: Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 5th Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's, 2000. 1384-1446.
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