In A Raisin in the Sun, how has the Younger family changed since moving into the new house?
In the play A Raisin in the Sun, we never actually get to see the Younger family in their new house. However, based on some of the ending dialogue and actions of Act III, we can make some predictions about how their life has changed and will continue to change once in the new home.
Towards the end of Act III, Lindner returns to the Younger’s apartment in order to settle with the Younger family so that they do not move into the house in the all-white neighborhood. Convinced that Walter was going to accept the deal, the Younger family listened with disappoint as Walter said (575):
“And we have decided to move into our house because my father - my father - he earned it for us brick by brick. We don’t want to make no trouble for nobody or fight no causes, we will try to be good neighbors. And that’s all we got to say about that. We don’t want your money.”
This single piece of dialogue leads us to believe that the differences that the Younger family had throughout the play have now subsided as Walter has put his dream and his disappointment aside in order to fulfill the dream of others in the family. In solidarity, Beneatha and Mama reaffirm what Walter said by saying, “That’s what the man said” and “I’m afraid you don’t understand. My son said we was going to move and there ain’t nothing left for me to say,” respectively (575). Once bitter towards Walter for his selfish decisions, both Beneatha and Mama are now proud to stand next to Walter in his manly decision.
The only ominous tone at the end of the play comes from Lindner, who with shock, declares, “I sure hope you people know what you’re getting into” (576).
After a beat, Ruth motivates everyone to get up and get moving, continuing the theme of family solidarity. Beneatha talks with Mama about how Asagai asked her to marry him and move to Africa, to which Mama responds, “You ain’t old enough to marry nobody” (576). This is quite different from the interest Mama had in her love life in the beginning of the play.
Once most of the Youngers are out of the apartment, Mama said to Ruth, referring to Walter, “He finally came into his manhood today, didn’t he?” (577). Mama can now feel confident that she has raised a son that will be able to take care of his family.
Mama shows signs of being sad to leave the apartment, and she is actually the last one to go. She leaves once, but abruptly returns to grab her plant and take it along with her into the new house. The symbol of the plant reminds us that the family will need constant care and nurturing, but within the right environment, they will prosper.
**Please note that the page numbers are coming from a textbook in which the play appears. Actual page numbers may differ; however, all quotes are from the end of Act III.**