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Describe the relationship that exists between Ruth and Walter at the beginning of "A...

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quintin2410 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 12, 2008 at 12:06 PM via web

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Describe the relationship that exists between Ruth and Walter at the beginning of "A Raisin in the Sun". How does it change as the play grows?

 

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 12, 2008 at 1:44 PM (Answer #1)

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Ruth is very concerned about her relationship with Walter at the beginning of the play. She says to Mama that they had lost something and she doesn't know what to do about it. From his perspective, Walter is surrounded by females who never listen to him. They don't care about his dreams. Ruth will not take Walter's side about buying a liquor store with the life insurance money and she blames him for Travis not having a descent place to sleep. Mama is the head of the house and Walter has little say in family matters. The problems are intensifies when Ruth learns she's pregnant and realizes there will be no place for the baby in the small apartment she shares with Walter, Travis, Beneatha, and Mama. She is considering having an abortion, but Walter won't even stop to listen to her tell him she's pregnant. However, after Mama gives Walter the money from the life insurance that's left over from the down payment on the house, Ruth is relieved. She can have the baby and it will have a place to live. Then, Linder arrives and makes his offer to pay the Youngers not to move. When Walter first accepts the offer, Ruth is extremely disappointed. Eventually, Walter does reject Linder's offer, largely because he cannot be weak in front of his son. Mama says that Walter, "came into his manhood today." Even though he lost most of the money, he is now head of the family and will be able to take more responsibility, including paying attention to his wife and family.

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