A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

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Please give a character sketch of Ruth in the play A Raisin in the Sun.  

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Ruth is the long suffering husband of Walter and thus the daughter-in-law of Mama. She is also the caring mother of Travis. She is deeply committed to her family and to her role as wife and mother, but at the same time is also clearly overburdened by the stresses of poverty and trying to meet the various needs of her family and cope with their dreams whilst also holding down a cleaning job herself. She tries to support her husband by interceding with Mama and asking her to give the insurance money to Walter so that he can invest it in a liquor store, because she recognises how important this is to him.

However, sadly, during the play, Ruth realises that she is pregnant and considers having an abortion, which was illegal at the time, because of the family's poverty. Her decision to keep this child can be seen as a symbolic act of hope in a brighter and better future for her unborn child that is linked to the family's new-found unity and decision to move to their own house.

Thus when we think of Ruth, we often see her as a peacemaker, as an intermediary between other characters, and as a character who is passionately committed to moving and making a better life for her family.

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