“Is your glass haft empty or haft full?” This saying perfectly describes what optimism opposed to pessimism is. Some people always see their glass haft empty, others haft full. The majority of people see their glass haft full some days and on other days haft empty. Our outlook on life is intimately related to the situation we are in and whether or not we believe we can get through the hard times. In the play A raison in the sun certain characters are more optimistic than others. Some of them are always optimistic whereas others have their ups and downs. Sometimes they are optimistic and on other days they are not.
Mama is a good example of an extremely optimistic character in the play. She always sees the best of every situation. At times the situation may seem completely hopeless to the audience. Yet, she never gives up. Mama has always dreamed of owning a house, she has always wanted to move her family out of the “ghetto”. Finally, she gets the chance to do so; she gets an important amount of money from the insurance company. She decides to use that money to make a down payment on a house. But her dreams are rapidly crushed; her son, Walter, has lost all of the money in an investment. Although she is extremely angry at first she does not give up. She decides that perhaps they can clean up the place they currently live in. They can add new furniture and perhaps even new curtains. The following quote perfectly illustrative Mama’s optimism: “I sees things differently now. Been thinking ‘bout some things we could do to fix this place up some. […] Why this place be looking fine. Cheer us all up so that we forget trouble ever come… […] Sometimes you just got to know when to give up some things… and hold on to what you got …” (p140) Mama is a really strong and important character in the play. Due to her hopefulness she is able to hold her family together till the end.
Beneatha on the other hand is more of a realistic character. She is optimistic some days and pessimistic on others. Beneatha is optimistic in the sense that she is a colored woman living in the ghetto and still, she strives and dreams to be a doctor.