Sum's personal timeline, a place to collect and share things from Sum's life.
Created by SP on Dec 27, 2008
Last updated: 11/07/09 at 07:53 PM
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The ending of the play, A Raisin in the Sun, is especially happy for Ruth because she got everything she wanted throughout the book. She was able to finally live on the house, which was her constant symbol of hope throughout the play, and she is able to see Walter become a true man. She feels partly responsible for Walter's maturing because she always felt that she offered as much as she could, but when the time came for Walter to make the biggest decision for the family, she was there to show him what the whole family would miss. She fulfills all her needs by the end of the play as well. She has taken care of physical and safety needs, and she feels the love of the entire family including Walter. She feels esteem for moving into the house, she is aware of what is important in life, and again she feels the beauty of life. Also she has felt self-fulfillment when they are able to move and Walter treats her well and she was able to help Walter to self-actualize. As a final statement of accomplishment, Ruth exclaims, "Well, for God's sake if the moving men are here-LETS GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!" (Lorraine Hansberry, p.149).
This event is the most suspense-filled in the whole play. It occurs after the money was lost, and Walter has a plan to let Mr. Lindner pay the family to not move into the house. This is an important scene for Ruth because all her hopes are on the line. She wants the house and she wants Walter to be a man, but at this moment it seems that neither will come true. Ruth's character is in the ultimate amount of stress, making her only fulfill her biological and safety needs, because her family is torn apart, she no longer believes she will get the house, and she no longer sees the beauty in her own life. She states, "You talking 'bout taking them people's money to keep us from moving in this house?" (Lorraine Hansberry, p.142). This is said in a state of shock for Ruth, because all her faith in her husband seems to have disappeared. Walter also talks about using the money to buy pearls for Ruth. This shows that he does not know what is important at this moment, because all Ruth wants is to have the freedom that the house provides. The picture shows how money can crush people's hope.
This event takes place after Walter has lost the money. Ruth is sad, but at the same time wants Walter to be happy. This shows how loving and mature Ruth, along with how her life almost revolves around Walter. Ruth exclaims, "You didn't say nothing bad to him, did you?" (p.138).
Another important part of this event is Ruth's reaction to Mama's of selling the house. The house is symbolic of hope, equality, and freedom. This event shows how Ruth found a new hope with the house, and is the type of character to hold on to hope. She is never truly put down in her mood all the way throughout the whole play, and to lose the house seems to her like losing the light at the end of a long tunnel. She states, "...I'll work twenty hours a day in all the kitchens in Chicago...I'll strap my baby to my back if I have to scrub all the floors in America and wash all the sheets in America if I have to-but we got to MOVE! We got to get OUT OF HERE!!" (Lorraine Hansberry, p.140). Because of all the horrible events happening to Ruth, she only fulfills her biological and safety needs and nothing more.
The picture shows the determination of a woman with a baby strapped on her back. This is much like the determination Ruth has to get to the house.
At the end of the scene, Ruth has just found out that Walter lost all the money. She is in a state of shock and is filled with complete horror. This news comes as such a shock to her that she is almost unable to speak in this section. She loses her esteem needs and aesthetic needs because she no longer feels the beauty of life and no longer is able to feel like her family is taken care of. Mama describes in one quote how the whole family feels at this moment, "Oh God...Look down here-and show me the strength" (Lorraine Hansberry, p.130).
George Eliot states, "Deep unspeakable suffering may well be called a baptism, a regeneration, the initiation into a new state." The fact that such suffering occurs for Ruth, forces her character to develop in the way that she now sees more of the surprises life can throw at a person.
After Linder visits their house, Ruth and all the other members of the family act like they are unharmed. This is interesting because Ruth is obviously saddened by the incident, but is in a good enough mood to let it not show. She is also opposed to letting race get in the way of the house, which is almost like her "salvation". Though deep down inside, the fact that the whites do not accept them hurts, Ruth keeps all her physical, safety, love, esteem, cognitive, and aesthetic needs fulfilled. Ruth jokes, "Yeah! He left his card-" (Lorraine Hansberry, p.120). Though this is not a meaningful line, it shows how Ruth is now able to block the true effect of events out of her mind through a joke. The picture shows a lady in a hat covering her eyes, which is symbolic of the way Ruth blocks the hardship she faces. The hat could also relate to the humor used by Ruth when Travis gives Mama an odd hat. This video relates to Ruth because at this moment she is trying to look on the bright side of life.
This is the part where a white man from the neighborhood, Mr. Lindner, comes to tell the Youngers that the white people in the neighborhood are willing to pay them to not move in. Though this is extremely upsetting to Ruth and the entire family, Ruth does not move at all on Maslow's hierarchy. At first she is pleased with the man, and almost annoys him with her constant offers of a drink or a more comfortable seat. This portrays her mood in the previous moment. Later when she finds out the real purpose of the man's visit, she is disgusted and mad. This event does not bring her down completely, but it does bring certain sadness to what was once a completely happy scene. The author’s purpose of Mr. Lindner's visit is mostly to show how race will get in the way of achieving one's dream. Ruth now knows that the path to the "house of their own" will be a hard and tough one. "We don't want to hear no exact terms of no arrangements. I want to know if you got any more to tell us 'bout getting together?" (Lorraine Hansberry, p.118). The websites relates to Ruth and her family because they do not fit in with the neighborhood they want to move into, which is why Mr. Lindner came in the first place.
The beginning of Act 2, Scene 3, Ruth has one of her biggest breakthroughs throughout the entire play. She is almost completely content with her life as it is. This, of coarse, results from the way her husband acts during the scene. Her feelings are mostly based on her husband's, and he is ecstatic because he has the money to invest. Her relationship is now healthy, though, and she is able to stop worrying. She is also able to dance, which shows her newfound passion for life, opposed to when she stopped singing, in Act 1. On the hierarchy, she fulfills her physical/biological, safety, love/belongingness, esteem, cognitive, and aesthetic needs. She now has beauty, in a sense, because of how her life is filled with joy and romance. Ruth tells Beneatha, "...and it was kind of chilly and there wasn't many people on the streets...and we was still holding hands, me and Walter." (Lorraine Hansberry, p.112). This is symbolic of the way their relationship is at this point in time, showing how even through trouble they feel they can survive and be with each other. This shows a new meaning in life for her. The video shows how holding on to your hopes and working towards them can finally lead to happines.
During this scene, Ruth drops down the hierarchy of needs again because of her husband. Her mood relies heavily on her husband's attitude, and at this point he is at his worst, not going to work or caring about the family's well being. She has physical/biological and safety needs. Also she remains having her esteem needs fulfilled because she is still moving into the house soon, but her love is lost since Walter is again neglecting his responsibilities as a husband, father, and all-around family member. She pleads with her husband when she says, "Walter, you ain't been to work in three days! Where you been, Walter Lee Younger?" (Lorraine Hansberry, p. 105). The pattern of feeling mentally low when her husband acts badly is unhealthy, though it shows how she cares for him deeply and has an affection that will not be broken.
This event takes place when Mrs. Johnson visits the Youngers. Ruth is still in a happy mood because they are moving into the new house soon, but Mrs. Johnson gives the news that some African-Americans were bombed when they moved into a white area. Though this news frightens her, she also believes herself to be above Mrs. Johnson. For example, they do not allow hateful words against black people, but Mrs. Johnson uses them carelessly though she is an African-American herself. The news of the bombing does bother Ruth, but we think that she remains at the same place on the hierarchy, having physical, safety, love, and esteem needs. Mama explains how their family is not worried. "We ain't exactly moving out there to get bombed." (Lorraine Hansberry, p.102). The video relates to Ruth because it is similar to how Ruth's family believes they are above Mrs. Johnson.
Later in Act 2, Scene 1, Ruth finds out about Mama's purchase of the house. This moment is one of the happiest for Ruth during the coarse of the whole play. Up until this moment, Ruth has been filled with mostly sadness and is almost hopeless to a point where all she cares about is getting through the day and paying the rent. This gives her a new reason to love life. Of coarse this event bumps her up on Maslow's hierarchy as well. At this moment she has physical, biological, safety, love, belongingness, and now esteem needs. She feels loved almost mostly by life, though Walter is troubled again. She suddenly feels great self-esteem, because she feels like she is worth something in the world now. Ruth states, "...I say it loud and good, HALLELUJAH! AND GOOD-BYE MISERY...I DONT EVER WANT TO SEE YOUR UGLY FACE AGAIN!" (Lorraine Hansberry, p.94).
"When the world gets ugly enough-a woman will do anything for her family. The part that’s already living" (p.75). In this scene, it is revealed that Ruth is thinking about an abortion, because she doesn't think that her family can financially take care of another child. This does not help Ruth's character in terms of Maslow's hierarchy, however. She is not even close to achieving her love and belongingness needs because her husband is even further from her when he receives the news. She asks to talk to him and he refuses. She feels like he does not understand her and even remarks, "He makes me sick to my stomach!" (Lorraine Hansberry, p.71). He even wants to go out drinking to avoid a talk with her. She feels isolated and mistreated. Her hopelessness leads to the abortion thought in the first place, and when Walter does not care enough to talk to her she feels more hopeless than ever.
At the beginning of this scene, Ruth is unhappy with Walter and her relationship. She has not moved up at all on Maslow's hierarchy. Though she wants to make Walter happy and be happy as well, she doesn't know how to fix the problems they already have. Later in this scene, when Walter is finished yelling at her for nagging, he starts to realize that their relationship has gone down hill, and he starts to feel for Ruth and talk to her. Ruth's emotions are so strongly based on the way Walter acts, that his compassion leads to a breakthrough and she fulfils her love and belongingness needs. She tells Walter, "There ain't so much between us, Walter...Not when you come to me and try to talk to me. Try to be with me...a little even." (Lorrain Hansberry, p.88).
In this scene, Ruth continues to have only biological/physical and safety needs. She is still not getting along with her husband as well as she would like, and she is now pregnant. The pregnancy makes her hopeless, more tired, and jumbles her emotions. Though she does not feel complete love in her life, Mama cares for her deeply and wants to make the family work out. Also, she knows that the pregnancy will make it harder for the family, since they are already poor. Beneatha comments about the new baby, "-where is he going to live, on the roof?" (Lorraine Hansberry, p.58). This quote is important because it shows the reader how hard of a blow this new baby is on the family, and how much it makes Ruth’s character continues to sadden. The video relates to Ruth because it talks about all the effects of pregnancy. Though the woman in the clip enjoyed pregnancy, Ruth would not be able to deal with the symptoms because she has to work and provide for her family.
Ruth defends her husband and sister-in-law when her mother-in-law, Mama, is scared by her children’s thoughts and actions. She is still low on Maslow's hierarchy, having only physical/biological and safety needs, because she is still not being treated right by her husband and therefore she does not have complete belongingness, but Mama does care about her and bond especially well with her. She shows the reader that she still does not hate the people who mistreat her, and that she just wants everyone to get along. She tells Mama, "You got good children, Lena. They just a little off sometimes- but they're good." (Lorraine Hansberry, p.52). This is important because it shows the true compassion Ruth has for everyone in her family. The video relates to Ruth, because Huckubee is defending Obama, though he is on a different side of the spectrum.
At the beginning of the play, A Raison in the Sun, the character, Ruth, is tired of living life. Her husband, Walter, is mistreating her in the way that he does not listen or appreciate her efforts. She cannot rise above safety needs, because she does not feel love. She is without happiness because there is no real love in her life, and wishes to find something that she can cling to as a morsel of hope. Ruth even exclaims, "What is there to be pleasant 'bout!" (Lorraine Hansberry, p.31).
She is in a mode of just getting through the day, making sure her family is content, and paying the rent. She does not care enough about her self loving life, and though she is mad at her husband, she still wants what’s best for him. The web site is useful in helping people with stress, which Ruth is filled with in this section.