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Quotes

Quote #1

Still, we can see that at some time, a time probably no longer remembered by the family (except perhaps for MAMA), the furnishings of this room were actually selected with care and love and even hope – and brought to this apartment and arranged with taste and pride. (1.1.stage directions)

The Younger family's history of pride is visually represented in their furniture. When Mama and Big Walter, Beneatha and Walter's father, first moved into the apartment and bought what was then new furniture they felt like they'd really achieved something. They saw the apartment as a steppingstone to a better future for their family. Now, though, many years have gone by and the family struggles to maintain their pride in the face of poverty.

Quote #2

MAMA
You ain’t satisfied or proud of nothing [your dad and I] done. (1.2.231)

Lena is hurt that Walter doesn't feel proud of the family legacy he comes from. She worked hard with her husband to provide a future for their children. Now, though, Walter is ashamed of their working-class lifestyle and shabby apartment. Walter dreams of "bigger and better" things.

Quote #3

MAMA
Plenty. My husband always said being any kind of a servant wasn’t a fit thing for a man to have to be. He always said a man’s hands was made to make things, or to turn the earth with – not to drive nobody’s car for ‘em – or – (She looks at her own hands) carry they slop jars. And my boy is just like him – he wasn’t meant to wait on nobody. (2.2.78)

Despite their background, the Youngers are a proud people. Like his father, Walter wishes to be more than somebody's servant. He wants to be his own man. In this passage it seems like Mama admired this trait in her late husband and is proud that her son thinks this way as well.

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