Ruth Younger is a thirty-year-old housewife with a monotonous daily routine. Despite a strained relationship with Walter at the beginning of the play, Ruth works hard to keep her family together. She’s willing to compromise her beliefs and values if it will help save her marriage. For example, Ruth contemplates an abortion because she fears another child will become a financial burden. She supports Walter’s plans for a liquor store even though she opposes his ideas.
Without a solid education, she relies on advice and suggestions from others to guide her decisions. She is unambitious and content with living modestly, and she fosters simple dreams for the future. Portrayed as a woman desperately trying to please everyone and create a positive first impression, Ruth is quick to defuse conflicts and arguments. After George Murchison witnesses Beneatha and Walter’s African dance, Ruth apologizes for their behavior.
Ruth never raises her voice in an argument and displays an inner strength that enables her to handle a variety of situations. She analyzes each problem exhaustively before making a decision. Only after Lena puts a down payment on a new house does Ruth dare to dream of a brighter future. It also enables Ruth to keep the baby.