I have read the two plays, “The Glass Manegerie” by Tennessee Williams and “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry, both of have a big impact on me. The two plays circle around the family values that convey the character of motherhood where mothers have to have a responsibility to raise, to provide their best and to sacrifice for their children. In these two plays, even expressing differently, mothers all show love to their children; they all want their children to have a happy life. Somehow, each mother treats their children different way, but they have only one purpose: to show love to their children. As I experience throughout the two plays: Amanda, Tom and Laura in “The Glass menagerie”, and Mrs. Younger, Walter Younger and Beneatha Younger in “A Raisin in The Sun”, I see there are differences and similarities between mothers and their children.
Introducing first, Amanda Winged, a middle age Southerner is the mother of Tom and Tom’s younger sister Laura in the “The Glass menagerie”. Most of us are familiar with the term of God born women to love their children, since Amanda is a woman. Unfortunately she does not treat her children the way mothers suppose to. I understand Amanda, she is a straight old-traditional, and just want her children to be what she desire. Tom and Laura do not have a choice; they have suffered from their mother and become victims. Amanda has thought that her children will be fine at the way she plans but it turns out to be not. Since she is completely dependent on Tom for financial security instead of working to support Tom. On top of that, she is spending too much time to reminiscing about her past, and recalling herself of how many gentlemen behind her when she was young. She is not realistic. In addition, she harasses Tom about going to the movies every night, makes him feels guilty at all time and takes advantage of Tom to keep him doing her jobs. Because she knows that Tom is not a strong man. In another word to say, Amanda is selfish and hypocrite.
In return, Mrs. Young is a wonderful mother; she has suffered and sacrificed for her children. She always explains and lesson to her children instead of making them feel guilty. The Young family starts running into problems when Mrs. Young (Mama) receives about ten thousand dollars from life insurance of her husband. With a poor family likes Young, ten thousand dollars is really a dream, it is a huge amount of money that they could never get for all of their life. The children start fighting over the money; every one has his/her own reason to use that money. Mama must figures out how to keep the family in peace and together. Mama deeply believes in God and lives her life in “cultural and ethnic pride”. She usually talks about how her generation has won its freedom and proud to be able no longer be slaves. At the end of the play, even she failed to convince Walter not to put the money in the liquor store but she made her commitment, she has what she has fought for all of her life, her family now all together in love, happiness and forgiveness.
Tom, a son of Amanda, a poet, with no backbone gets a job in a warehouse and does not have any plan for his career. He is trapped by his mother and has suffered from that. However, Tom is curious about how he takes care of the family, especially his younger sister. Lately, Tom gives up not because of his ability but because of his lovely mother’s demands. He tries to get away with it by spending time to go to the movies every night. I feel so sorry for Tom; he is no strong enough to face with his mother to resolve his family’s problems.
On the other hand, Walter Young, a son of Mama, has a big ambition becoming wealthy after seeing the ten thousand dollars check comes into Mama’s hand. Walter is actually a manipulator and has no respect from his family. His dream is to own a liquor store and to earn a lot of money so his son will be able to go to college. More than that, Walter know this is the only chance he can rebuild his respect and his self-esteem, but a game of becoming wealthy without ability is the foolishness comes with it. Unfortunately Walter is cheated by his friends and he lost all the money comes from Mama just because he is too trusting and out of touch. However, Walter’s fail redeems a valuable lesson for him. He accomplishes what Mama has told him before but he never listens.
A secondary main character in “The Glass Menagerie” who every reader has to be sorry for her is Laura, daughter of Amanda Winged. She is kind of an interior person who is always put in fresh and pretty for gentlemen callers. Even she tries several time to participate in the world out side but she failed because of her fragility. On top of that, a disabled person is often in inferiority complex; therefore she just is spending her time in the world of glass menagerie at home and keeping out of her mind of what Amanda panics about her future. Unlike Laura, Beneatha Younger, daughter of Mama in “A Raisin in the Sun”, is a strong girl and very “intellectually proud” with everyone she comes into contact with and dreams of a medical-school. For instance, when she talks to her mother about Joseph Asagai she speaks down to her mom who treats her like a little child. She feels school and learning her heritage to Africa is the most important thing in her life. The next way Beneatha’s pride gets in the way of respecting her mother’s intelligence is when she asks her mom not to “ask any ignorant questions about Africa…” This insults Mama while making Beneatha look well-educated and pompous.
After all, even just for one purpose, the love, mother have to do every thing for their children. Mothers need to find the pride to make the families stay together, that is a strongest bond. From the two plays I learn that, family values are the most important for one’s life, because it is how a man hood is built from. Mothers are the ones who give us the roots and feather to be men.