Lena Younger (Mama)

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Fictional Character
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Entry Date
Jun 8, 2022 2:27 AM
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Lena (Mama), an 8, the religious matriarch and head of the family. Gets a $10,000 insurance check from the death of her husband, on which the dreams of the other characters rest. For Ruth, a new house. For Walter, a new business and a way to become someone and make something of himself. For Beneatha, medical school. Lena wants to protect and ensure the best possible future for her family.

Lena starts the movie by saying "I'm not meddling" 3 times to Ruth, but she can't help herself. She's a strong 8 personality and feels protective of the family. Lots of evidence of her 8ness

  • She tells Ruth she's not investing her husband's death check in a liquor store β€” an instinctual and firm answer in the style of 8
  • She buys a house for the whole family to move into without consulting anyone, and in a white neighborhood no less (!!!)
  • She makes the rules of the house β€” when Beneatha goes on about their not being a God, she slaps Beneatha and makes her repeat that in her house, there is
  • She guiltlessly spills the beans to Walter about Ruth's pregnancy before Ruth does, and when Ruth admits that she's thinking about an abortion, Lena's monologue, gist of: "I'm waiting for you to be a man and say we don't take life" etc β€”
  • Her whole dynamic with Walter β€” he wants to be respected as head of the family, but she is too powerful
  • She entrusts Walter with the remaining $6500 β€” giving him a chance, even after he's been drinking for 3 days... the kind of chance an 8 would give
  • She defends Walter and tells Beneatha off after Walter says he's about to sell back the house β€” her "mama bear" energy. She protects her kids, gives big love and defends the people she loves, even in the darkest moments