A Raisin in the Sun
Dreams, Hopes, and Plans Quotes Page 5
How we cite our quotes:
(Shouting over her) I LIVE THE ANSWER! (Pause) In my village at home it is the exceptional man who can even read a newspaper… or who ever sees a book at all. I will go home and much of what I will have to say will seem strange to the people of my village. But I will teach and work and things will happen, slowly and swiftly. At times it will seem that nothing changes at all… and then again the sudden dramatic events which make history leap into the future. And then quiet again. Retrogression even. Guns, murder, revolution. And I even will have moments when I wonder if the quiet was not better than all that death and hatred. But I will look about my village at the illiteracy and disease and ignorance and I will not wonder long. And perhaps… perhaps I will be a great man… I mean perhaps I will hold on to the substance of truth and find my way always with the right course…(3.1.41)
Asagai explains his vision for the future. He sees it as difficult and not always immediately rewarding, but ultimately he knows it will be for the betterment of his people. Asagai will actively pursue his dreams even when the going gets rough.
ASAGAI (He smiles)
…or perhaps I shall live to be a very old man, respected and esteemed in my new nation… And perhaps I shall hold office and this is what I’m trying to tell you, Alaiyo: Perhaps the things I believe now for my country will be wrong and outmoded, and I will not understand and do terrible things to have things my way or merely to keep my power. Don’t you see that there will be young men and women – not British soldiers then, but my own black countrymen – to step out of the shadows some evening and slit my then useless throat? Don’t you see they have always been there… that they always will be. And that such a thing as my own death will be an advance? They who might kill me even… actually replenish all that I was. (3.1.43)
Asagai isn't certain about the future, but he is determined in his dreams for a better Nigeria. In order to achieve his dreams, he is willing to put his life at stake. We find it really poignant that he has already forgiven his would-be murderers – as long as his death is for the good of his country.
…Did you dream of yachts on Lake Michigan, Brother? Did you see yourself on that Great Day sitting down at the Conference Table, surrounded by all the mighty bald-headed men in America? All halted, waiting, breathless, waiting for your pronouncements on industry? Waiting for you – Chairman of the Board!…I look at you and I see the final triumph of stupidity in the world! (3.1.60)
Beneatha ridicules her brother for the possibility of ever dreaming that big. She is extremely bitter that he has put his dreams ahead of hers, making it impossible for her to go to medical school.