- It’s a month later and the Youngers are settling in to their new house, what happens?
-Write what happens to each character.
-Give what you think happens to each character after a month of living in the new house
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A month seems like a rather short time to assess much of anything, but I get the basic idea. I think that much of this depends on whether or not you believed in the narratives of success that accompanied many of the challenges African- Americans faced in the 1960s and 1970s. If one believed the narratives of those who did "make it," then I think the Younger family has found a great deal of contentment and relief in their decision. They assimilated well into Clybourne Park, with struggle still present, but the overall success of the family was one where success is evident in the decision that Walter undertook. Beneatha has probably found some level of stability in her life as she has understood that freedom is more effective when it is channeled into one path and the multiplicity of avenues within it. Travis has experienced better schooling in Clybourne Park. Walter has been able to build upon the decision he made and act in the name of the family, while Mama has been able to take some solace in what she has done and how she has provided for her family's future. The plant received its share of water and is growing quite nicely for while there is struggle to grow in harsh conditions, it is in fact for the reason for struggle and growth was indeed evident.
On the other side of the coin would be the narratives of those who did not make it. These are the individuals who discovered, as in the title of the book, that there "Ain't No Makin' It." These are individuals who bought into the opportunity ideology, like the Youngers, and believed in the idea of upward mobility. They believed that if they did what was told to them as tenets of the American Dream, success will be theirs. Yet, for these narratives, there was inertia, embedded resistance, that precluded them from fully being able to partake what should have been rightfully theirs. These voices faced many oppositions, such as outward hostility in the likes of Clybourne Park. They faced silent contempt and outward intimidation with moving into "White" neighborhoods. They experienced discomfort in acting upon their freedom and their entrance into schools populated by White children and staffed with White adults was one where challenge was evident. For these individuals, there was struggle and battle all throughout their moves to areas where they were the only face of color on the block. There was intense wondering if all of this was actually worth it and after such reflection, there might have been a feeling of surrendering the fight. For many of these, a feeling of melancholy set in and the basic idea of not being able to succeed settled in, causing them to languish in a world where they and others have discounted their efforts into a growing underclass of individuals. This might not have happened to the Youngers, but an argument can be made that many like them experienced the same set of experiences.
Great question. I'm not sure anything much "happens" in terms of action. Mama has certainly taken on some kind of money-earning job; but she has also begun working in her garden, reveling in having her own space and having more room and a fresh start for her family. In addition to school, Beneatha has probably moved on to some new pursuit, leaving both Asagai and George behind. Ruth is still working, but she has begun taking better care of herself now that she's keeping the baby. She's also feeling contented, breathing a sigh of relief as she knows Travis is in a healthier environment. Travis is now playing, but not with rats. Walter is clearly still discontent at working for someone else rather than for himself; however, the pressure which made him feel like a "volcano" ready to explode has likely subsided.
I understand there is still an underlying racial tension in this white neighborhood where a black family has moved in, and I know Mama is somewhat idealistic about this move; however, I take my hopefulness from the last image of the play as written--Lena taking her little, struggling plant to their new home. Granted, it's small and unimpressive in any way, but it was the only consistent sign of life and growth in their rather depressing world. When she walks back in to grab it, the matriarch of this family speaks of her hope for their future. If Mama can be hopeful in the face of these circumstances, I can be too.
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