A Raisin in the Sun
Race Quotes Page 4
How we cite our quotes:
LINDNER (Looking around at the hostile faces and reaching and assembling his hat and briefcase)
Well – I don’t understand why you people are reacting this way. What do you think you are going to gain by moving into a neighborhood where you just aren’t wanted and where some elements – well – people can get awful worked up when they feel that their whole way of life and everything they’ve ever worked for is threatened. (2.3.80)
Mr. Lindner and his neighbors see the Youngers' presence in the Clybourne Park neighborhood as a threat to their way of life. When he notes that certain "people can get awful worked up," he's calling attention to the fact that these sorts of situations can sometimes lead to violence. Is Lindner just recognizing a known fact? Or does Lindner mean this to be a subtle threat?
LINDNER (Almost sadly regarding WALTER)
You just can’t force people to change their hearts, son. (2.3.83)
Karl Lindner thinks it's impossible to change the minds of the white people – yet he's asking the Youngers to change their minds by abandoning their dreams. We think it's interesting that the playwright lets us know in the stage directions that he says this line "almost sadly." Could this mean that somewhere inside him he really can see past the walls of racism? Does he recognize how wrong what he's asking of them is?
What they think we going to do – eat ‘em?
No, honey, marry ‘em. (2.3.102-3)
Ruth suggests that segregation is a result of a fear of "miscegenation" (a.k.a. interracial marriage). Some people in the white majority were very concerned about interracial marriage. They saw it as a threat to their culture.