ARaisin in the Sun
LorraineHansberry’s play, “ARaisin in the Sun” is a classic illustration of challenges thatface marriage relationships. Notably, Walter and Ruth are notfinancially stable. They struggle to meet their basic needs, as shownby their two-bedroom apartment located in the southern end ofChicago. Besides, there are variations in the plot as Ruth is contentwith the prevailing situation, while Walter does not work hard toliberate the family from financial woes. In such a way, this pointsto the lack of ambition, meaning that he does not exemplify thedesire to achieve and the initiative to take risks. In thisassignment, Walter and Ruth’s marriage will be analyzed in detailto show that it is doomed to fail, according to the environment andcircumstances presented in the play.
Adetailed Analysis on the Nature of Walter and Ruth’s Marriage andwhy it is Likely to Fail
Ideally,Ruth and Walter seem to be in a strained relationship. Mainly,coordinated communication that characterizes successful marriages isnot evident. Both have not set defined boundaries with their in-lawssince they live with Walter’s mother. Their apartment is portrayedas tiny, yet they accommodate Walter’s sister and their first son(Hansberry 492). Correspondingly, the surrounding environment atteststhat the marriage is strained as the in-laws are likely to infringeon their privacy as the couch is the son’s sleeping bed, while theyhave to share a bathroom with other tenants. There are many points ofdisagreement. After Ruth notes that she is tired, Walter feels as ifRuth has conspired with his mother to undermine his authority.Notably, this is shown when Walter retorts, “Mama would listen toyou. You know she listens to you more than she do me and Bennie”(Hansberry 494). In such a way, it appears that the couple cannotmake independent decisions as Ruth has to consult Walter’s mother,implying that the relationship is strained.
Ruthdoes not believe in Walter’s resolve to venture into business.Since trust is an essential aspect of a marriage relationship, thisimplies that there are tensions and lack of support from each partnerneeded to accomplish various goals. Correspondingly, Walter does nottrust Ruth as she has sided with his mother to undermine hisauthority as the male figure in their house (Hansberry 545). In sucha way, this has led to the development of an inferiority complex,where Walter cannot make ambitious or independent decisions for fearof criticism from Ruth or his mother. The challenge is heightened byhis loss of self-respect as he does not even appreciate his currentjob, which enables him to fulfill his marital obligations. The dreamsof joining his friend to open a liquor store are met with objectionfrom his wife. The series of events has stressed him as he does notdraw fulfillment from his matrimony due to the absence of spousalsupport. In such a way, achievement of collective marital goals isnot a priority for him.
Theonset of disagreements, anxiety, and fear has extended in the entirefamily. It is apparent that divorce may be the only option since therestoration of faith and respect in a spouse is not easy. Walterneeds some money as a starting capital for his business. He believesthat his father’s insurance policy had a significant amount ofmoney though, it is in the custody of his mother. It is surprisingto note that Ruth is opposed to Mama’s intention to lend money toWalter as he believes his business aspirations may fail, resulting inlosses. She openly tells him, “In your heart of hearts you are muchdrunkard” (Hansberry 525). Besides, this is unrealistic as Ruth isworried about their ability to raise their next child due to lack ofenough money to meet the basic family needs. As their apartment issmall, there is no room for an extra child though, she is pregnant.Furthermore, this is complicated by many disagreements in Walter’sfamily, meaning that Walter may opt for a divorce if Ruth does notleave him in the long-term. The there absence of trust on each other,unmet expectations, and failure to support each other’s personaland business ambitions shows that the marital union is doomed tofail.
Typically,Ruth is a housewife though, she is more accomplished as works andearns regular wages. She does this by attending to menial tasks,especially in the households of the white people. Although Walter isdissatisfied with his life, Ruth’s financial stress is evident.Instead of taking an initiative to look for several part-time jobs,he directs his frustrations to her. In this instance, Ruth confrontsWalter and demands that he acts like a responsible individual withfamily obligations. Many times, she is irritated and falls intodespair when she contemplates the multiple challenges in theirhousehold, yet hopes of an imminent breakthrough are minimal. In sucha way, abortion is the likely option as her family is financiallystressed, a point she comes into agreement with Walter’s motherwhen she asserts that, "Whenthe world gets ugly enough — a woman will do anything for herfamily.The part that`s already living" (Hansberry 392). Notably, thisis unexpected considering that she has not discussed the matter withher husband, hinting at family conflicts. Irrespective of whetherthey move into a new apartment or not, it seems difficult to resolvetheir personal differences as Walter’s mother complicates them dueto her conniving nature.
Eventually,the couple moves into a new house. However, they have to work harderto maintain their mortgage and regular expenses. Their strainedrelationship has adversely affected their prospects and may hindertheir hopes of entering into a new apartment as the Clybourne ParkImprovement Association’s representative, Karl Lindner, suggeststhat their presence would negatively affect the prevailing unity inthe community (Hansberry 575). Mainly, this implies that the futureof their marriage is uncertain as they will not live in unity withtheir neighbors. In such a way, they are likely to separate.
Summingup, Walter and Ruth’s marriage is characterized by regularconfrontations and inability to solve their personal differencesamicably. Either of them blames the other for personal woes. Theirsense of unity as a couple is infringed by Walter’s mother, whosides with Ruth to undermine his authority as the father figure inthe house. Allowing in-laws into their apartment marked the onset oftheir marital challenges as they cannot solve their differences ashusband and wife due to disturbances from Ruth’s mother in law.Consequently, this has led to the lack of trust. Walter is unable tomeet the basic family needs due to inadequate finances, while Ruthdoes not support his business initiatives. In such a way, themarriage is doomed to fail.
Hansberry,Lorraine. ARaisin in the Sun.Vintage Books, 1994.Bottomof Form