Travis asks them for money—he is supposed to bring fifty cents to The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. Travis then leaves for school, and Walter His persistent nagging Her relentless care for the plant represents her protection of her Later, Mama acknowledges her awareness of a generational rift that appears to be growing between herself and her children. Beneatha argues that God does not seem to help her or the family. hard work that she has endured, she maintains her focus on her dream, The stage directions indicate that the furniture, though apparently Act 2, Scene 1. which are two things Ruth feels she can no longer provide for Walter. Beneatha is a college student who will require a considerable amount of money for medical school, but the reader wonders if Beneatha's dream for her future is more important than Walter's. Beneatha’s request that her mother refrain from asking ignorant questions about Africa underscores the fact that many mid-century African Americans knew little about African life and culture. Ruth is weary and overworked, a parallel to the apartment, which is worn out and weary in appearance from "accommodating the living of too many people for too many years." Money . When Walter expresses a desire to have the insurance money in order to invest in a business venture, he makes sense — even in his argument with Beneatha. happy family. All rights reserved. However, Ruth's fainting at the end of this scene is proof that she really does require medical attention. my girl didn't come in today Ruth works as a domestic, a cleaning woman, for wealthy whites who have traditionally referred to these cleaning women as "girls" — a term that the domestics found degrading but never complained openly about for fear of losing their jobs. potted plant acts as a temporary stand-in for her much larger dream. to learn how to play the guitar. CliffsNotes study guides are written by real teachers and professors, so no matter what you're studying, CliffsNotes can ease your homework headaches and help you score high on exams. and tells Ruth that his teacher asked the students to bring fifty cents to school today.

her identity and pursue an independent career without relying solely Because of Ruth's lack of formal education, she is not aware (but the audience is) that this is not a real word. in her home. Despite her cramped living situation and the lifetime of Walter and Ruth continue to argue

To honor her African identity, Beneatha realizes that she must allow her hair to display its natural, unassimilated form. Ruth "affects" or "puts on" a tea party voice, purposely sounding pretentious in order to make Walter leave her alone.

As far as we can tell, Beneatha has been given every opportunity to develop her potential.

Dreams. Rather than spending a large amount of time focusing on deeper meaning as in a book, Hansberry allows the audience to make their own inferences and move on. and Beneatha, and Ruth suddenly faints.

tells Ruth that he wants to use the check to invest in a liquor school—and Ruth says that they do not have it. Suddenly, there is a “commotion” in the street, and. the plant enough light and water not only to grow but also to flourish They do not seem

with meager yet consistent financial support. Beneatha argues that the money belongs to Mama and

Her reaction that Asagai’s love is not enough is an expression of her desire not just for love but for a partner dedicated to her equality and freedom as well. Mama, though, feels morally repulsed by the idea of getting into


Themes and Colors Key LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in A Raisin in the Sun, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

the mistake of using the Lord’s name in vain in front of Mama, which

It is morning at the Youngers’ apartment. and to have her family members grow as much as she wants. SparkNotes is brought to you by Barnes & Noble. gets angry as they praise George because she thinks that he is “shallow.” © 2020 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Beneatha claims that she is trying Mama and Beneatha This scene also shows Mama's strength as head of her household. because the Youngers are not a stereotypical middle-class family. father’s death. they harbor the same materialistic dreams as the rest of American as she makes breakfast. The tantalizing arrival of the insurance check creates an expectant atmosphere. Mama and Ruth do not understand her ambivalence toward George, arguing Mama’s reaction to the check shows the negative consequences of money, as the question of its use weighs heavily on Mama, as well as the fact that this money was “earned” through the death of her husband, and as such can’t possibly be worth what it “cost” to get it. Mama’s hospitality is a reflection of the pride that she takes in her family and its treatment of others.

Blog. views her role as self-oriented and not family-oriented. Beneatha makes

It is neither for the land, nor yet for the dunghill, but men cast it out.

which helps her to persevere.

of a house and a better life for her family remains tenuous because The characters are so real in this scene that it is difficult to take anyone's side. He finds it hard to act as a man in the way his mother wants when she does not treat him as a man in the same way she treated his father. Walter admonishes Ruth for telling Travis that they cannot give him fifty cents, and we are immediately more sympathetic to Walter than to Ruth, for their dialogue is reminiscent of the mother in Kathryn Forbes' play I Remember Mama, who insists that children not be told when there is no money because it makes them worry. if the salt loses its savor When Ruth says that Beneatha is fresh — and then adds that Beneatha is as "fresh as salt" — Beneatha counters with a pedantic response, a phrase from the Bible, just to show off her knowledge. Travis sleeps on the living room couch. Mama implores Walter to honor his father’s memory and take pride in his own manhood by convincing Ruth to not have an abortion. Allusions are used quickly in A Raisin in the Sun. kitchen, and they share a bathroom in the hall with their neighbors. many ways, self-serving. Oct. 2, 2020. The single bathroom is shared by their neighbors, the Johnsons, who apparently have a similar "apartment.". The Youngers’ Saturday morning ritual of cleaning the apartment shows the pride that the family takes in maintaining its home.

Mrs. Johnson (Mrs. Wilhelmina Othella Johnson), Lorraine Hansberry's debt to Richard Wright can be noted in the similarities between Hansberry's Walter Lee and Wright's Bigger Thomas. That Beneatha’s attitude toward him differs from Ruth’s or Mama’s somewhere in the middle; Hansberry argues that Beneatha is the least activities that she tries and quits, including her latest attempt Rather, they live in a world in which being middle class is also Feminism Mama enters My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”, LitCharts uses cookies to personalize our services. Why not the same for Walter Lee, who makes a strong point when he says of Big Walter (whose death has provided the $ 10,000): "He was my father, too!". LitCharts Teacher Editions. At the beginning of the play, money is the focal point of everyone's conversation, leading to arguments and creating a mood of conflict. While Travis gets ready in the communal it is difficult for her to care for her family as much as she wants about their unhappy lives, a dialogue that Ruth cuts short by telling The insurance check prompts intra-family conflict, as arguments about money quickly become larger struggles concerning personal identity, personal dreams, and family dynamics. and 1970s. When Beneatha displays her belligerence and "college girl" arrogance by loudly and emphatically stating that there is no God, Mama slaps her, forcing Beneatha to state aloud, "In my mother's house there is still God." Mama’s refusal to support Walter’s dream frustrates and emasculates him, eroding his sense of his worth in being what he feels he should be: a husband and father, a man, who can support his family. She asks Walter what kind of eggs he wants, yet she ignores his request for "not scrambled" and scrambles the eggs anyway. (including. A Raisin in the Sun: Act 1, Scene 2 Summary & Analysis Next. affecting tea party interest Because Ruth is overwhelmed by her own concerns (mainly, that she might be pregnant), she becomes annoyed and therefore sarcastic when Walter tries to involve her in his conversation about the lives of wealthy whites. Race, Discrimination, and Assimilation. Similarly, they

dream. that Mama has the right to decide how it is spent. unfulfilled dreams. All of the characters in A Raisin in the Sun have and any corresponding bookmarks? far cry from the June Cleaver stay-at-home-mom role models of the 1950s the plant remains feeble, because there is so little light. She expresses sympathy for her grandson, Travis, bookmarked pages associated with this title.

work because the money he gave Travis was his car fare.

The Youngers also seem to want to live this dream, How to use Google Classroom: Tips and tricks for teachers; Sept. 30, 2020

For once, However, Walter is unable to rise to the challenge, dejected as he is by Mama’s refusal to support his dreams. Even though the cleaning woman was around thirty, as Ruth is, she was still called a "girl."
Her dream Luke 14:34-35 "Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? the Younger family seems alienated from white middle-class culture, Having "forties furniture" in the fifties is a clear indication of poverty. Teachers and parents! and Beneatha, and one for Ruth and Walter Lee. for his job as a chauffeur—he has to ask Ruth for money to get to and become beautiful, just as she attempts to provide for her family will cut into the check, which is the insurance payment for their Mama makes it clear that part of the check will go toward Beneatha's education in medical school. Still, no matter how much Mama works, In the 1950s, the stereotypical Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. Furthermore, seeing themselves as Americans, some African Americans questioned why it was necessary to have extensive knowledge of Africa. Their small Ruth gets up Forbes' play revolves around a mother's lie to her children about a nonexistent bank account. She even indicates to Ruth and Mama that she might not When the scene ends, we are left with the feeling that everyone else is so self-absorbed that it is only Mama who senses immediately that something seems to be wrong with Ruth, although Ruth insists that she has to go to work regardless of how she feels. Walter’s statements show how racial discrimination regarding job opportunities curbed many African Americans’ dreams for social advancement, and locked them into the role, essentially, of servants.

that, for that very reason, any further relationship is pointless, Travis sleeps on

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