Lena Younger As The Matriarch Figure Of The Younger Family

Good Essays
Lena Younger (also known as ‘Mama’) is portrayed as the matriarch figure of the Younger family. Since her husband, “Big” Walter Younger died, she has become, “the center of her family 's life and controls many of the interactions of the other family members… such as the economic decisions”. (Bloom) She is religious, moral, and always ready to give advice to her children and grandchild. However, it’s her traditional and conservative way of thinking that leads to many disagreements with the other characters. While Mama “represents the traditional prescribed domestic role assigned to the women of her generation”, her daughter-in-law Ruth Younger represents “a generation in transition”. (Guzzio) She values the traditional role of a housewife and mother; however, she is faced with the decision of terminating her pregnancy in order to provide a better life for the child she already has. Including this topic is a very bold feminist move from Hansberry, since in the 1950’s abortions were illegal. This was “one of the first American plays to address abortion”, which Ruth sees as a way to keep the family together. (Bloom) This scene “reveals Ruth 's independence, expressing her right to choose and to assert control, yet it also depicts the desperation of a working-class woman who cannot afford to have another child.” (Bloom) Mama greatly opposes Ruth getting an abortion. Her conservative views and religious beliefs do not allow her to consider this as an option. She remembers the
Get Access