A Raisin in the Sun Act 1 Scene 2 Summary

     This scene takes place the following day, Saturday. The family is cleaning and doing chores. When Travis asks where his mother has gone, Mama gives him a vague answer. When Beneatha asks the same question, Mama tells her that Ruth has gone to the doctor and mentions she "ain't ever been wrong 'bout a woman." Beneatha receives a phone call, which is another boyfriend Joseph Asagai, whom she agrees to let come over. Ruth returns and makes it clear that she is, in fact, two-months pregnant. Mama appears excited, but Beneatha mentions that she wonders where this baby is going to sleep as they are already cramped into the space that they have available. Ruth also seems more upset by the situation than excited.

     Asagai shows up at the door and brings Beneatha a package. She opens it to find African robes and records. He shows her how to properly drape the authentic attire then comments that her hair isn't natural. He calls her an assimilationist for wanting to look more like the white people. Asagia makes it clear, however, that he has strong feelings for Beneatha. Mrs. Younger meets him, and Asagai tells her that he is from Nigeria from the Yoruba tribe. He explains that his nickname for Beneatha, Alaiyo, is a Yoruba word meaning one for whom food is not enough. After Asagai leaves, Beneatha soon follows.

     The mailman brings the mail, and Mama asks Travis to go fetch it. She is hesitant to open the envelope containing a check worth such a large amount of money. Once she opens it, Mama comments that if it weren't for the rest of the family, she'd probably just give it to the church. When Mama asks Ruth about her doctor's visit, Ruth accidentally refers to the doctor as a woman, and Mama knows Ruth didn't see her regular doctor. Walter then rushes in asking about the money. Mama tells him she is not interested in investing in a liquor store. Angered by her unwillingness to listen, Walter says he is leaving. Ruth wants to go with him, but he doesn't want to speak to her either. Ruth storms out of the room upset with her husband. Mama tries to talk to Walter about what it is he wants in life. He tells her that what is important is money, and Mama is upset because she thinks what is important is freedom. Finally, Mama confesses that she believes Ruth is thinking about getting rid of their baby. Walter doesn't believe it, but then Ruth reenters the room and confirms that she already put a five-dollar down payment toward the procedure. Mama wants Walter to tell Ruth not to do it, but Walter just leaves.

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