“MAMA: Well, I always wanted me a garden like I used to see sometimes at the back of the houses down home. This plant is close as I ever got to having one”(1.2).
Mama’s plant is a major symbol in “A Raisin in the Sun”. The plant represents Mama’s dream; she dreams for a nice little house where she can have a garden and where her family can be happy. The plant is described as “a feeble little plant growing doggedly”(1.1). Her dream for a happy family needs lots of nurture in order for it to survive, but she never stops caring for it. Mama says “Lord, if this little old plant don’t get more sun than it’s ben getting it ain’t never going to see spring again”(1.1). She’s afraid that if something good doesn’t happen to her family soon, her happy family will never exist. Her family all buy her gardening equipment, and she is the “gardener of dreams”(ouch that’s corny)- she cares for all of her children’s dreams and encourages them to grow. At the very last scene, Mama leaves the house, then comes back for her plant before exiting for the final time. Throughout the play, the plant and mama’s dream looked defeated, but now the plant is being taken to a house where it will flourish in the garden, just as Mama’s dream will flourish and grow.