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Quotes

Quote #4

BENEATHA
[Assimilationist] means someone who is willing to give up his own culture and submerge himself completely in the dominant, and in this case oppressive culture! (2.1.51)

Beneatha's passion for progressive politics acts as a foil for Walter's willingness to give in to the threats of dominant culture. She is totally disgusted when Walter temporarily agrees to accept the bribe from Mr. Lindner to not move into the white neighborhood.

Quote #5

GEORGE (Nastily)
Let’s face it, baby, your heritage is nothing but a bunch of raggedy-assed spirituals and some grass huts!
BENEATHA
GRASS HUTS!…See there…you are standing there in your splendid ignorance talking about people who were the first to smelt iron on the face of the earth! (2.1.52-3)

Hansberry contrasts George's views on African identity with Beneatha's. This shows that there are lots of different perspectives on this issue within the black community. By giving us these sorts of complex perspectives Hansberry makes the play truly universal.

Quote #6

WALTER
Why? You want to know why? ‘Cause we all tied up in a race of people that don’t know how to do nothing but moan, pray and have babies! (2.1.114)

Here, Walter takes out his frustration on his own race, claiming that his fellow African Americans are to blame for their own misfortunes. Once again, Hansberry shows us the complex perspectives that exist within the black community.

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