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Quotes

Quote #16

BENEATHA
Bad? Say anything bad to him? No – I told him he was a sweet boy and full of dreams and everything is strictly peachy keen, as the ofay kids say! (3.1.60)

Beneatha blames her brother's dreams for the family's downfall. She seems to think that he deserves to have bad things said to him and the rest of the family needs to stop babying him.

Quote #17

(MAMA enters from her bedroom. She is lost, vague, trying to catch hold, to make some sense of her former command of the world, but it still eludes her. A sense of waste overwhelms her gait; a measure of apology rides on her shoulders. She goes to her plant, which has remained on the table, looks at it, picks it up and takes it to the windowsill and sits it outside, and she stands and looks at it a long moment. Then she closes the window, straightens her body with effort and turns around to her children) (3.1.66)

Mama's loss of hope is expressed in her physicality and also in the casting out of her beloved little plant. She put all her faith in her son Walter, but he has sorely disappointed her. With his failure, her dreams have died.

Quote #18

MAMA
Of course, baby. Ain’t no need in ‘em coming all the way here and having to go back. They charges for that too. (She sits down, fingers to her brow, thinking) Lord, ever since I was a little girl, I always remembers people saying, "Lena – Lena Eggleston, you aims too high all the time. You needs to slow down and see life a little more like it is. Just slow down some." That’s what they always used to say down home – "Lord, that Lena Eggleston is a high-minded thing. She’ll get her due one day!" (3.1.69)

Lena blames herself for dreaming too big, figuring that she was wrong to buy the house. She even seems to imply that maybe she was wrong to ever migrate north from the South in the first place. Her family has had to deal with a lot of hardship in Chicago, which makes her doubt if any of it was worth it.

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