A Raisin in the Sun
by Lorraine Hansberry
A Raisin in the Sun Act Two, Scene One Summary
- Beneatha puts on a Nigerian record and appears in Nigerian garb. She is radiant and singing with Ruth (who is ironing) as her audience.
- Drunk, Walter returns home and digs the Nigerian music. He starts dancing around shouting nonsense words, and we learn that he’s tapping into old myths and conceiving of himself as a fine African warrior.
- George Murchison enters to pick up Beneatha en route to the theatre. He asks her to change and she takes off her headdress, revealing her new haircut.
- It’s a big ’fro! Others in the room express their shock and disapproval, and Ruth hustles Beneatha off to change into more suitable attire.
- Walter tries to talk business with George, who brushes him off. Walter is offended and begins to insult George. George remains indifferent and compliments Beneatha when she reemerges in a dress.
- After they leave, Ruth tries to make nice with Walter. Not having it, Walter takes his bitterness out on Ruth.
- Things calm down and timid conversation leads to a kiss.
- Mama enters, coming back from a mysterious day outside of the home. She tells Travis that she bought a house. The rest of the family can obviously hear her.
- Walter turns away from her, outraged…and it only escalates when Lena announces where the house is located: in an otherwise white neighborhood.
- Shocked, Ruth is the first to recover and embrace the happy prospects of moving into an actual house.
- Mama asks for Walter’s understanding, but – happy-go-lucky guy that he is – he thanks her for crushing his dreams.
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