Study Guide

A Raisin in the Sun Act Two, Scene Three

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Act Two, Scene Three

  • Before curtain rises, we can hear Ruth singing "Hallelujah!" Taking care of last minute packing, Ruth is in a good mood. She tells Beneatha about how she and Walter went to the movies together for the first time in a long time. And they even held hands.
  • Walter comes in and seduces Ruth into a slow dance. The mood is jolly…until a man appears at the door, introducing himself as Karl Lindner, a member of the Clybourne Park Improvement Association.
  • Through niceties and stammering, Karl basically says that the current people in the neighborhood don’t want the Youngers to move in because of the color of their skin – in fact, they don’t want them there to the point of offering to buy the house for more than it was sold for!
  • Mr. Lindner tells the Youngers that the residents of Clybourne are working-class and have worked hard, and that they’re ready to protect their dreams.
  • Isn’t that ironic.
  • Karl claims the whole proposal is really just in the Youngers’ best interest.
  • They tell him to scram. Effectively.
  • When Mama arrives, the adults relay the episode and then present her with the gift of gardening tools. Travis chimes in and presents her with a gaudy gardening hat. Mama is overcome. Prior to this, she has only received presents at Christmas.
  • They continue packing; someone knocks at the door.
  • Walter is joyful with expectation and answers the door to find Bobo.
  • Unfortunately, it becomes clear that Bobo is not happy to be there. Ruth doesn’t know what’s going on but she senses danger immediately.
  • Finally Bobo drops the bomb: Walter’s supposed friend, Willy, disappeared with all their liquor store money.
  • Walter tries the deny, deny, deny defense and is all pumped to track down Willy. Bobo points out that it’s really a lost cause.
  • By now the family has entered the room and has heard everything.
  • Lena asks Walter if all of it is gone – even Beneatha’s portion – and Walter confesses that he never created the checking account.
  • Lena starts beating him on the head, guilt-tripping him about how he just flushed his dad’s life’s work down the drain in one day.
  • Lena turns to God and asks for strength.

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