A Raisin in the Sun
by Lorraine Hansberry
A Raisin in the Sun Sacrifice Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.
WALTER (Crossing slowly to his bedroom door and finally turning there and speaking measuredly)
What you need me to say you done right for? You the head of this family. You run our lives like you want to. It was your money and you did what you wanted with it. So what you need for me to say it was all right for? (Bitterly, to hurt her as deeply as he knows is possible) So you butchered up a dream of mine – you – who always talking ‘bout your children’s dreams… (2.1.187)
Walter's ego is too big to consider sacrificing his liquor store dream for the betterment of his family.
I seen…him…night after night…come in…and look at that rug… and then look at me…the red showing in his eyes…the veins moving in his head…I seen him grow thin and old before he was forty…working and working and working like somebody’s old horse…killing himself…and you – you give it all away in a day – (She raises her arms to strike him again) (2.3.189)
Lena recalls the sacrifices Big Walter made for his family. She hates the fact that his son lost all of his life's savings in one day. In this moment, it seems like all of her husband's sacrifices were for nothing.
ASAGAI (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 describes how fighting the good fight is a process of sacrifice. Hopefully, though, it's a struggle that will eventually be rewarding.