A Raisin in the Sun
How we cite our quotes:
She said Mr. Arnold has had to take a cab for three days…Walter, you ain’t been to work for three days! (This is a revelation to her) Where you been, Walter Lee Younger? (WALTER looks at her and starts to laugh) You’re going to lose your job.
That’s right… (2.2.101-2)
Walter has become so depressed he hasn't been showing up to work. What's more, he doesn't seem to care that he might lose his job. The ironic part is that if he does lose his job things will only get worse for him and his family, which would most likely make him even more depressed. Yes, it seems like Walter really is trapped in a downward spiral.
And where does it end?
An end to misery! To stupidity! Don’t you see there isn’t any real progress, Asagai, there is only one large circle that we march in, around and around, each of us with our own little picture in front of us – our own little mirage that we think is the future. (3.1.26-8)
Beneatha loses faith in the idea of progress after her family faces yet another blow. In this moment at least, she feels everyone's dreams are doomed to fail, that everyone is doomed to suffer.
Asagai, while I was sleeping in that bed in there, people went out and took the future right out of my hands! And nobody asked me, nobody consulted me – they just went out and changed my life! (3.1.32)
Beneatha claims that she suffers at the hands of others. She doesn't realize yet that she has the ability to improve her circumstances.