"Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain’t through learning – because that ain’t the time at all. It’s when he’s at his lowest and can’t believe in hisself ‘cause the world done whipped him so! When you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is."
Mama to Beneatha – From A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
So I was reading this play in English class lately, and I came across this quote here. For those who have no idea what the hell this play is, it’s basically a family drama involving a black family called the Youngers. The matriarch, Lena Younger (and the speaker of the quote) receives an insurance check of $10,000 dollars. She uses some of it to buy a house at a white neighborhood and gives the rest to her son, Walter Lee Younger (the subject of this quote). Walter instead invests the money with someone who runs off with it. So basically everyone in the family is pissed at him, especially Beneatha Younger, his sister (whom the quote is spoken to).
You might be asking, “Why the hell are you telling us this, Clarity? No one cares about what you’re studying in your lame English class.”
Well, for those who know me, I like to attribute lots of things to Homura as I’m an especially big fan of her. Basically, the majority of responses I see to her actions in Rebellion are “she’s fucked up” or “she’s so selfish” or “she doesn’t deserve Madoka’s love” or “how can she even have fans anymore”, et cetera. So how is this quote relevant to her? Well…
It’s true that Homura screwed up, in a sense (though it is of my opinion, personally, that she made things better) and she’s acting on the basis of her own desires. Is it because she’s at her lowest? At the middle, the world has definitely “done whipped her so”–– her witch world, biting her back in the ass and showing her in HD definition all the ways she had failed. At the highest point of her suffering, she turns her despair around and calls it love, but it’s still despair, you know? Calling a pear a fruit doesn’t stop it from being a pear.
It’s of the popular opinion that Homura should be kicked in the ass for such a crime, but here I wonder: why? Are you expecting everyone to be a Mary-Sue? You think the only time to love someone is when they’re absolutely perfect? Then you aren’t going to love anybody. This applies to everything in the world–– you’re going to have to love your family and friends for everything they do well and badly, because only then could they turn that bad thing around and make it good. Screwing somebody up while they’re in pain would only make things worse.
Back to Homura. The next part of the quote is “when you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right.” It’s a pity that almost nobody measures Rebellion Homu right, with the general equation being Homura = Evil + Devil - Good. And then there’s “make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.” The “hills and valleys” part can be shown as continuous attempts of Homura rewinding time, that’s for sure, but what else could it stand for?
I put this question to you all: What caused it? What caused Homura so much pain that she literally turned into Satan himself? What kinds of hills and valleys did Homura go through before she got to wherever she is?
The flower scene, I think, is what first started her on that journey–– when Madoka tells her that she couldn’t bear going to someplace like that that would make Homura cry so much. Then there’s that other obstacle of her being an unborn witch used to control Madoka. I won’t elaborate on that right now, but being hamerulilly is suffering.
Shmoop states the context of the quote: “Lena tells Bennie that people need love the most when they are suffering the most. She urges her daughter to see past the bad decisions people sometimes make when they are in pain.”
It’s pretty clear Homura’s in constant pain and guilt, and has made some bad decisions because of it. Does that mean she deserves no love, no happiness, no nothing? Think about what she went through that made her become like this, then you can measure her.