What does mama’s plant symbolize in “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry?

In Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” Mama’s plant is a representation of hope and progress. It symbolizes the family’s ambitions and their capacity to persist and conquer the difficulties they confront. The plant is first presented when Mama is given a small plant as a present from a friend. Although it is initially delicate and fragile, Mama takes great care to nurture it and help it develop. In this way, the plant is a metaphor for the family’s own aspirations, which are similarly fragile and small at the beginning of the play. As the play progresses, the plant becomes a significant symbol of the family’s struggles and successes. When the family is given a large sum of money from a life insurance policy, they are faced with a difficult decision about how to use it. Mama’s son, Walter, wants to invest the money in a liquor store, while Mama desires to use the money to buy a house for the family. The plant serves as a reminder of Mama’s vision for a better future, and her determination to make her dreams come true. Despite the numerous obstacles the family faces, Mama continues to care for the plant, just as she cares for her family and their dreams. In the end, the plant has grown into a large, flourishing symbol of hope and strength. Through her unwavering commitment to the plant, Mama shows her ability to nurture and support her family, even in the face of great difficulty. Ultimately, the plant serves as a powerful symbol of the family’s growth and transformation, and their capacity to overcome the challenges they face.


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