Study Guide

A Raisin in the Sun Act Two, Scene One

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Act Two, Scene One

  • Beneatha puts on a Nigerian record and appears in Nigerian garb. She is radiant and singing with Ruth (who is ironing) as her audience.
  • Drunk, Walter returns home and digs the Nigerian music. He starts dancing around shouting nonsense words, and we learn that he’s tapping into old myths and conceiving of himself as a fine African warrior.
  • George Murchison enters to pick up Beneatha en route to the theatre. He asks her to change and she takes off her headdress, revealing her new haircut.
  • It’s a big ’fro! Others in the room express their shock and disapproval, and Ruth hustles Beneatha off to change into more suitable attire.
  • Walter tries to talk business with George, who brushes him off. Walter is offended and begins to insult George. George remains indifferent and compliments Beneatha when she reemerges in a dress.
  • After they leave, Ruth tries to make nice with Walter. Not having it, Walter takes his bitterness out on Ruth.
  • Things calm down and timid conversation leads to a kiss.
  • Mama enters, coming back from a mysterious day outside of the home. She tells Travis that she bought a house. The rest of the family can obviously hear her.
  • Walter turns away from her, outraged…and it only escalates when Lena announces where the house is located: in an otherwise white neighborhood.
  • Shocked, Ruth is the first to recover and embrace the happy prospects of moving into an actual house.
  • Mama asks for Walter’s understanding, but – happy-go-lucky guy that he is – he thanks her for crushing his dreams.

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