Love is All You Need

   The concept of love shines throughout A Raisin in the Sun. Every character shows the love that they have. Towards each other, their beliefs, and their dreams.       

   Mama Younger loves her family and will do anything and everything to ensure that they will have great lives. She has dedicated herself to keeping a roof over their heads and keeping positivity through the house as much as she can. Mama also loves her plant. This little plant sits in the lonely window of the house and gets the smallest amount of sunlight. Yet Mama cares for that plant as if it were another one of her children. Just like Mama this plant is struggling to stay strong and keep fighting, and just like Mama, it does. Her love for this plant stems from her ability to relate to it. In Act II Scene 3, Beneatha sees Mama fidgeting with the plant. After Beneatha asked what Mama was doing with the plant, and being told that Mama is fixing it so it won’t get damaged on the move, Beneatha asks, “Mama, you going to take that to the new house? That raggedy-looking old thing?” To which Mama replies, “It expresses ME!”(121) At the end of Act III, Mama walks out of the house without her plant and closes the door. “The door opens and she comes back in, grabs her plant, and goes out for the last time)“.(151)

   Perhaps the greatest show of love comes from Asagai. When he is first introduced, it is seen through his words how much he cares about Beneatha. “How much time must there be before one knows what one feels?”(61) Asagai came back from Canada and brought a gift over to Beneatha’s house. When she opens up the colorful Nigerian robes, he mentions that she should be careful with them since they are from his sister’s personal wardrobe. Beneatha asks, “You- you sent all the way home- for me?” to which Asagai replies, “For you- I would do much more.” (63) This gift shows how truly he loves Beneatha, because it’s something that means so much to him and is personal to him. In the beginning of Act III, Asagai came to the house to help the family pack. Before he leaves the house, he says to Beneatha, “I have a bit of a suggestion. That when it is all over- that you come home with me-…” “…-I do not mean across the city- I mean across the ocean: home- to Africa.”(136)

   Asagai’s love for Beneatha is extremely important to the growth of her character. He immerses her in the Nigerian and Yoruban culture. She listened and danced to their music while wearing the robes Asagai got her(76), she cut her hair to prove to Asagai that she wasn’t assimilating to American culture(80), and she fought George by standing up for her heritage(81). With all of the turmoil that the family endures, Asagai is the one person who always shows Beneatha that she is perfect just the way she is, and he will love her no matter what. After all, he wants her to go to Africa with him.

   Love is a funny thing. No matter who or what it’s aimed towards, the person who gives it has the best intentions in mind. Those are the people who change the world.



“There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing.” (145)




  1. Do you think that if Asagai wasn’t around, Beneatha’s character would have developed as much?
  2. Mama loves her children. Do you think she feels as if they are no longer accepting of it and that’s why she loves her plant so much?



All You Need is Love by The Beatles

“There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done

Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung

Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game

It’s easy

Nothing you can make that can’t be made

No one you can save that can’t be saved

Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time

It’s easy

All you need is love, all you need is love

All you need is love, love, love is all you need”

15 thoughts on “Love is All You Need”

  1. I really enjoyed the concept of love that you talked about. I completely agree with you about how Mama treats the plant like one of her own children. I think the growth of the plant and keeping it healthy and alive represents Mama’s hope to keep the family healthy and alive. I like how you compare the plant to Mama “struggling to stay strong and fighting” because thats exactly what she is trying to do. I think that Mama’s life is completely represented by that plant and if it stops fighting it represents that Mama has also given up. However, I don’t agree with you when you say “Perhaps the greatest show of love comes from Asagai” because I think the greatest show of love comes from Mama. She spent the security check on a house that is in a white neighborhood but she does it to ensure the best future for her family. She didn’t get a house somewhere that they would be comfortable but instead she got a house somewhere where her family had the chance to flourish. Responding to your second discussion question, no I don’t think that Mama loves her plant because she feels her children are no longer accepting. As stated before I think Mama cares for the plant because she sees herself as the plant and if she doesn’t care for the plant then she doesn’t care for herself and family. Lastly, I really enjoyed you putting the song from the Beatles at the end of your blog (partly because that is one of my favorites) but I think it was great to represent your theme.
    You did an amazing job with your post and it really did make me think of the plant and Mama in a different perspective!! Good Job!!

  2. Your blog post is incredible! I love how you incorporated quotes from the text as well as the All You Need is Love lyrics.
    My personal favorite love in the play is Beneatha’s and Asagai’s. Unlike George, Asagai understands Beneatha and believes in her dreams and goals; he knows she is more than just a pretty face. I hope she moves to Africa with him so she can pursue her dream of helping others and becoming a doctor. Their romance shows Beneatha that she does not need to settle for a shallow, rich man just to escape the poverty around her. She can make something more of herself and still having a supportive man by her side.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your blog! I liked how you compared Mamas plant to her children. Mama wants the plant to grow similar to how she watched her children grow. When you included “Just like Mama this plant is struggling to stay strong and keep fighting, and just like Mama, it does.”, I think this quote really shows Mamas determination to love her family no matter what. I also love how you included the lyrics to “All you need is love” by the Beatles because it reflects the Youngers family love for each other. Great Job!

  4. I really enjoyed reading your blog, and all of the connections that you made to the concept of love. One line that caught my eye was when you mentioned the quote, “To which Mama replies, “It expresses ME!”(121). This was interesting because Mama mentions that the plant expresses her, but Beneatha is making fun of the plant. This seems hypocritical of her, as she is always trying to express herself, by trying new things such as leaning the guitar or cutting her hair. If Asagai were not around, I do not believe that Beneatha’s character would have developed as much because she would not have been questioned her culture as deeply. She may have never learned more about Africa and where her people came from, and may have remained as a westernized citizen instead of recognizing her history and culture. Also, she began to question her career choice, and Asagai helped her to stay on track and realize the importance of her education and being a doctor by telling her stories from back home. I do not believe that Mama loves the plant because no-one else is accepting of her love. I believe that she loves the plant so much because it represents all of her dreams of owning a house with a garden. Since Mama is such a humble character, always remembering her roots and hardships to get to where she is today, I believe that she loves the plant so much because it is a reminder of all the memories that the family shared in the cramped house. Overall, great job on your blog!!

  5. A very powerful post. You knew what you were talking about!! Personally, I love Bennie and Asagai’s love, you can see how true and meaningful it is. In my opinion, Beneatha’s character wouldn’t have developed as much because she would’ve questioned her culture as deeply. Asagai has influenced her to embrace her culture and go against the norms of society, from bringing Bennie his sister’s clothing, as you said. Asagai also understands Beneatha and believes in her dreams and goals; he knows she is more than just a pretty face. The Beatles at the end was a great touch! 🙂

  6. This is one of my favorite blogs so far. I absolutely love how you focused on the positive theme, love, from this play. You also used background evidence for almost all of your points.
    I agree on the point you’ve made about Beneatha and Asagai because he does do anything in his power to show Beneatha how important she is to him and even thought she is already a strong character in the play, I believe he definitely had influence on her. Asagai showered her with love and never failed to make her feel loved even when people around her ridiculed her for her big dreams and determination.

  7. As Melissa stated, the way you describe Mama and the plant, “struggling to stay strong and fighting,” really makes us as readers tie together Mama’s dream of fighting for a better life for her family, just as she is fighting to give the plant a longer life, despite not having any sunlight shining down on it. Like Melissa, I also disagree with you when you say, “Perhaps the greatest show of love comes from Asagai,” but I also disagree with Melissa when she says that the greatest show of love comes from Mama. It may have taken him awhile to show it, and he may have shown it in unconventional ways, but I think the greatest show of love comes from Walter. Yes, throughout the play, Walter seems selfish and obsessed with money, but he sees it as trying to do good for his family. I don’t like how Mama put all of her trust in him with the remaining money, yet he went and gave it to Willy for the liquor business. In Rachel’s blog post, The Pride and the Prejudice, she said that by Willy taking all of the money for himself, “Walter’s pride in his own dream was taken away,” but I don’t think it was. At the end of the play, Walter shows he is truly prideful about his whole family; how his father worked himself to death for the family, how Beneatha is studying to be a doctor and how Mama carried out her dream and bought them a house. He puts himself last and tells Lindner that they will be moving into the house, and that no amount of money could keep them out, which is truly selfless.

    I do believe however, that Asagai’s love for Beneatha is very powerful, and that without Asagai, Beneatha would not be the empowered, identified woman that she is. When Asagai first comes into the play, back in Act I, Scene II; Asagai calls upon the time he first met Beneatha, saying “You came up to me and you said – and I thought you were the most serious little thing I had ever seen – you said: “Mr. Asagai – I want very much to talk with you. About Africa. You see, Mr. Asagai, I am looking for my identity.” Of course, he is poking fun at Beneatha, but by bringing her Nigerian robes and Yoruban music, he is helping her learn about her culture and find out who she is.

    Your blog post is so specific and detailed, yet so open-ended and open for debate, which is really cool. It’s definitely one of my favorites so far, and I love how you included something personal, the song, at the end. Great job!

  8. I liked how you emphasized the importance of Mama’s love for her family. Also, I liked how you connected Mama’s love for her children to the love she has for her plant. I agree with the statements you made”Love is a funny thing. No matter who or what it’s aimed towards, the person who gives it has the best intentions in mind. Those are the people who change the world.” These statements are very accurate when talking about Mama. It was important for her to care for her family to her best ability. Mama may have caused some conflicts about money between Walter and Beneatha but throughout the story, it was obvious that Mama’s intentions were to create a better life for her family. Mama changed the world for her family by buying a better home. It’s clear that Mama loved her family deeply, but I don’t think that Mama loves her plant because she feels that her children are no longer accepting. I believe that the reason why Mama loved the plant is that all though they may not have all been good, it resembles many memories that happened in that house. Mama is so attached to the plant because it has been with her through all of the memories she has of her children. Mama can use the plant to reflect on the past and always have a little piece of their old home with her.

  9. I really like how you started your blog post talking about mama’s plant. While reading act three, I noticed how the plant got brought up multiple times. I like how you related the plant’s situation of struggle to mama’s situation of struggle. I was a little confused while reading as to why the plant kept getting brought up but your blog post helped a lot. I think it’s really sweet how much mama loves and appreciates the plant. Also, I really liked your explanation on Asagai’s love for Beneatha. I, as well, think Asagai helps Beneatha grow into the person she really wants to be and that is really important in relationships. Your post was really intellectual and helped me understand what I was reading!

  10. The love of the family is one of the most important points, it helps them sort out their differences such as mama and Beneatha on religion or Ruth and Walters disagreements. Asagai influenced Beneatha in a positive and cultural way, teaching her of her heritage and trying to make her proud of it like he is. He criticizes Beneatha sometimes but does so in a friendly manner like when he told her to wear a more natural African look with her hair instead of conforming to white beauty standards. Asagai acts as Beneatha’s strength, helping her and wanting Beneatha to be herself as opposed to George who is an assimilationist. I believe that Beneatha would still be chasing her dream but wouldn’t be as connected with or interested about her heritage.

  11. Love your post, Sarah! The concept of love is one of the biggest themes throughout the play, besides dreams. One can argue they intertwine and work with each other. I especially liked how you described Asagai’s love for Beneatha when you said, “Asagai’s love for Beneatha is extremely important to the growth of her character. He immerses her in the Nigerian and Yoruban culture”. This sentence stood out to me and made me realize the difference her personality and character was before and after Asagai. Also I love how you connected pop culture, like the Beatles, into A Raisin In The Sun to try and help the reader understand your view.

  12. you pretty much nailed the most important theme of the play right on the head with this post. Asagi’s love for Beneatha is unique and it has been shown that Beneatha will change in order to be with him. And most importantly, any Beatles reference gets my seal of approval, so well done!

  13. I like that you used love to describe how Beneatha’s character changes throughout the story. I agree that Beneatha’s relationship with Asagai helped her character grow in a different way than if she was not in that relationship. Being in a relationship we saw a more loving and vulnerable side of Beneatha that we otherwise would not have seen. She is a very strong minded and independent women when it comes to her family and her profession but as we can see when ” she cut her hair to prove to Asagai that she wasn’t assimilating to American culture(80) ” her relationship causes a different more loving and vulnerable side of her to show.

  14. I enjoyed how much thought you put into this post. As an avid lover of the Beatles, I felt the incorporation of the band into your post made it different than any post we’ve seen thus far. I was impressed how well you dissected the relationship between Beneatha and Asagai. You brought in relevant textual evidence to support your answer to support your claims, and it helped me understand the relationship better. Overall, your post was original and intuitive, so thank you for reinforcing my understanding of the play.

  15. This blog does a very nice job in pointing out small moments of love are care, in a book overrun with bad news and hard times. The connection mama has to her plant is a very strong piece of evidence, especially when she defends her love of it by exclaiming, “It expresses me.” One point I somewhat disagreed with was the suggestion that Asagai shows the greatest example of love to Beneatha. While it is an important display of affection, the two have talked earlier in the book about the one emotion Asagai has for Beneatha, and Beneatha concludes with it not being enough. I thought this would suggest an emotion other than love.

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