A Raisin in the Sun

by: Lorraine Hansberry

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

Quote 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!

This exchange occurs near the end of the play in Act III, as Asagai and Beneatha fight after Bobo comes to tell the Youngers that the money Walter has invested is gone. Beneatha is terribly depressed and cynical, knowing now that the money for her future education is also gone and that her future and her dreams are likely ruined. Asagai gets her more angry by arguing that her dream and her means for achieving it are inextricably bound up in the death of her father and Walter’s financial savvy. While Beneatha considers herself to be independent, Asagai argues that she has been anything but.

Asagai goes on to describe his dream: he wishes to return to Nigeria, bring back what he has learned, and share it with the people of his homeland so to improve their lives. In other words, Asagai believes in bringing modern advancements from Western society back to Africa to improve the quality of life there. He is optimistic about his dream while understanding the difficulties that lie ahead. This exchange also allows Asagai to ask Beneatha to marry him and return to Africa with him in a few years. He will teach and lead the people, he says, and she can practice medicine and help take care of people. While Beneatha hesitates a bit when she says that she will consider going with him, it seems she will undoubtedly take him up on his offer. Asagai and his dream enable Beneatha to discover a new energy and shape a new dream for herself.