Gladys makes the most significant discovery at the end of Act 1, this is conveyed in a number of ways.
Gladys’s hope is destroyed, she has dreams and hopes of her daughter fitting into white society and becoming something, however these hopes are shattered when Dolly appears in the rain with a torn dress, it is the realization that Dolly will never fit in, despite how much self determination and resilience that she and her daughter has, and that they will never be accepted. This is conveyed by the use of the song Que Sera Que Sera , the ironic use of this song which was the epitome of white society in the 1950″s, the song states “I asked my mother, what will i be” a symbol of Gladys’s hope and wants for Dolly as she strives for Dolly to fit in and become part of the white society. However these are shattered and it shows that “whatever will be will be”, as Gladys realises that, it doesn’t matter if you can change an individual, you cannot change sociatorial views. This is furthermore represented through the use of the Rain, Thunder and Darkness, a symbol of her hopes and dreams for Dolly shattering as she realises what her ambitiousness and and self determination has done to her daughter.