In A Raisin in the Sun, what is the importance of Ruth Younger in the play?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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In A Raisin in the Sun, Ruth Younger is an important character. She is the mother of Walter's son. Travis will carry on the family name. Also, Ruth is expecting Walter's next child. Life goes on despite financial difficulties. The fact that Ruth even thought about aborting the baby is a sign of how difficult times were financially for the Youngers. Ruth is carrying on the family name by having Walter's children. 

Ruth is a strong woman who found herself in a weak moment due to the hardships she and Walter are undergoing. The fact that she even thought about aborting the baby opened Mrs. Lena Younger's eyes to the stress that Ruth and Walter are under. 

Ruth's decision to abort the baby caused Mrs. Lena Younger to make a drastic move and buy a house. Ruth could not live in the close quarters of the apartment any longer. She had reached her level of coping. Ruth needed space for her unborn child. 

Ruth's decision to abort the baby brought about significant changes in the play. Her act of desperation is what caused Mrs. Lena Younger to act and buy a house. The family had lived in the cramped apartment long enough:

During the course of the play, Ruth realizes she is pregnant and considers seeking an abortion, which would have been illegal at the time. By the end of the play, the implication is that Ruth will have this baby and that the family will direct its energy away from self-destruction.

Ruth makes the decision to keep the baby. She realizes giving life is more important than her own desperate feelings experienced through the poverty she lives in. Ruth makes the decision to give life. She decides to keep her baby. As Mrs. Lena Younger states, they are about giving life, not taking it. 

Ruth is a character who had been strong too long. She gives in to a moment of weakness and thinks about aborting the baby. In the end, she regains her strength and decides to keep the baby. The Younger family name will live on. Ruth's decision to keep the baby is significant. Life goes on in spite of poverty. 

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