A Raisin in the Sun
Important Quotations Explained
1. Mama: Oh—So
now it’s life. Money is life. Once upon a time freedom used to be
life—now it’s money. I guess the world really do change . . .
Walter: No—it was always money, Mama. We just didn’t know about it.
Mama: No . . . something has changed. You something new, boy. In my time we was worried about not being lynched . . . You ain’t satisfied or proud of nothing we done. I mean that you had a home; that we kept you out of trouble till you was grown; that you don’t have to ride to work on the back of nobody’s streetcar—You my children—but how different we done become.
2. Walter: You
wouldn’t understand yet, son, but your daddy’s gonna make a transaction
. . . a business transaction that’s going to change our lives. .
. . That’s how come one day when you ‘bout seventeen years old I’ll
come home . . . I’ll pull the car up on the driveway . . . just
a plain black Chrysler, I think, with white walls—no—black tires
. . . the gardener will be clipping away at the hedges and he’ll
say, “Good evening, Mr. Younger.” And I’ll say, “Hello, Jefferson,
how are you this evening?” And I’ll go inside and Ruth will come
downstairs and meet me at the door and we’ll kiss each other and
she’ll take my arm and we’ll go up to your room to see you sitting
on the floor with the catalogues of all the great schools in America
around you. . . . All the great schools in the world! And—and I’ll
say, all right son—it’s your seventeenth birthday, what is it you’ve decided?
. . . Just tell me, what it is you want to be—and you’ll be it.
. . . Whatever you want to be—Yessir! You just name it, son . .
. and I hand you the world!
3. Asagai: Then
isn’t there something wrong in a house—in a world—where all dreams,
good or bad, must depend on the death of a man?
Beneatha: AND YOU CANNOT ANSWER IT!
Asagai: I LIVE THE ANSWER!
4. Mama: There
is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that,
you ain’t learned nothing.
5. Walter: [W]e
have decided to move into our house because my father—my father—he
earned it for us brick by brick. We don’t want to make no trouble
for nobody or fight no causes, and we will try to be good neighbors.
And that’s all we got to say about that. We don’t want your money.
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