A Raisin in the Sun

What does Mama say about the moving men? What has her attitude changed? What does she say about herself?

what does mama say about the moving men? what has her attitude changed? what does she say about herself

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Mr. Lindner and the moving men arrive simultaneously. Ruth motions for Travis to go downstairs while Walter deals with Mr. Lindner, but Mama insists that Travis stay right there and witness the actions of his father. Under the innocent gaze of his son, Walter is unable to make the deal with Mr. Lindner, and tells him, "We don't want your money." The moment is truly heroic, and marks Walter's introduction into manhood. The family, triumphant, bustles into action as they continue with their move. As the family gathers their things together, Beneatha announces her decision to become a doctor in Africa. Walter retorts that she should be concerned about marrying a wealthy man like George Murchison. Beneatha is furious, and they begin to argue just as they did at the beginning of the play. Everyone but Mama exits the stage. Making sure to bring her plant with her, Mama takes a last look at the apartment before leaving it forever.

With the loss of the money, the entire family must face dreams that are deferred once again, and each one reacts differently. Walter and Beneatha are not the only ones who feel like giving up. Mama abandons hope, telling her children to unpack and to cancel the moving men. She says, "Lord, ever since I was a little girl I always remember people saying, 'Lena-Lena Eggleston, you aims too high all the time. You needs to slow down and see life a little more like it is. Just slow down some.' That's what they always used to say down home-'Lord, that Lena Eggleston is a high-minded thing. She'll get her due one day!'"] Mama feels as if the unfortunate loss of the insurance money is due punishment for having high expectations. She has accepted her lot in life, and is already planning how to spruce up the apartment. Ruth is the one person who is unwilling to let go of her dream so easily. When Lena gives up and begins making preparations to stay, Ruth insists, "We got to MOVE! We got to get OUT OF HERE!!" She is willing to work several jobs in order to make the move possible.

Even though their goals are very different in nature, the insurance money from Walter Sr. is the catalyst for each of their dreams. The $10,000 offers the Youngers the ability to achieve salvation: Mama will get her dream home, Beneatha her medical education, and Walter his liquor store. However, the money comes at a price: Walter Sr. must die for the Youngers to have any chance of getting out of their futile situation. In many ways, the insurance money acts as a deus ex machina. The term is used in reference to a trope in ancient Greek plays when a character doomed to die is miraculously saved from destruction. At first glance the fortunate and unfortunate ways in which the money comes in and goes out of the Younger household add absurdity to a play where circumstance and fate seems to overpower human autonomy. However, Hansberry complicates this assumption by making Walter's decision to choose dignity rather than submission the true means to salvation.