A Raisin in the Sun and Ethan Frome

Walter’s mother in the novel, commonly referred to as Mama is a very high spirited woman. Despite being a widow, she takes charge of the situations and ensures that her long time dream of providing a good residential place for her family is achieved. Mama is able to control and synchronize all the ideas of the family members as she makes use of the family money to make a better life for the future. Her strong belief in Christianity is highly upheld and she is ready to oppose anything which goes against her faith. Notably she opposed the abortion plan of her daughter Beneatha. In contrast, Zeena, who is the household female head in the novel, is portrayed as feeble and sickly character that have no vision to achieve at all. She lives by circumstances and is more concerned with her medical conditions (Wharton, 2008).

In the move towards the achievement of the American dream, which requires an individual to make independent and sound decisions, a lot of differences can be drawn from the mindset of Beneatha in the play and Mattie in the novel. Beneatha is the kind of modern and assertive girl who makes the bold decision to revive and maintain her roots (Morrin & Hansberry, 1994). By marrying the Nigerian boyfriend Asagai and leaving the George Murchison, who has an assimilated African- American personality, Beneatha shows high level of analytical skills necessary for dream achievement. Notably, the house help worker portrayed in Mattie in the novel is in contrast to Beneatha. Mattie is young woman with such indecisive and immature mind, who opts to commit suicide with Ethan when Zeena could not give them chance to explore their affection and chased her from the family house hold (Wharton, 2008). Such kind of non visionary mind has no place to realize the American dream of positive mature individual thinking in the real life setting.


The two books present two different categories of people with different mind set. The character presented in the play – A Rising in the Sun, like Mama, Walter and Beneatha have very strong and creative thinking abilities which are very necessary in the achievement of the American dream. This is because they are able to make sound decisions on their own. In contrast, the characters presented in the novel- Ethan Frome like Zeena, Ethan and Mattie are not able to make any meaningful independent thoughts necessary for dream achievement. They depend much on fate to make decisions and this is never a prerequisite for dream realization.

This entry was posted in Book Review Essay and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.