A Raisin in the Sun Act 3 Summary

     Act three takes place an hour later. The mood is much more ominous as no one moves much or speaks until Asagai walks into the room. He offers to help with packing, but Beneatha tells him that her brother gave away all of their money. Beneatha tells him a story about why she wants to be a doctor. When she was young, she saw a friend of hers split his face open in a sledding accident, and then next time she saw him, he was all fixed up. She wanted to be able to cure people in that way, but now she's stopped caring. Asagai tries to show her that she doesn't need that money. That her brother made a mistake, but that shouldn't stop her from following her dreams. Asagai tells her about how in Nigeria most people cannot read. There are constantly wars, but that doesn't mean that he should give up or that they can't make progress. Asagai suggests that maybe she needs to come home with him to Africa. Beneatha says she needs to think about it, so Asagai leaves.

     Walter finally gets up, grabs a piece of paper, and exits without saying a word to Beneatha who has been making fun of him throughout this process. Mama walks in and announces that they should start unpacking and someone should tell the movers not to come. Ruth begs Lena to change her mind. She thinks they can still meet the mortgage payments; therefore, they should still move. Lena, however, keeps talking about how she aimed too high and how they can fix up the apartment a bit to make a space for the new baby.

     Walter returns and said he made a call to Mr. Lindner and told him to come over. Walter says that he's realized his place in the world, so he's going to put on a show. He's going to accept the white people's offer to not move in to their new house. The family is so disappointed in him for being willing to act the way the white people want him to act and do what they want him to do. The women try to tell him that he'll lose all dignity and have no self-respect. When Beneatha disowns him as a brother, Mama turns on her. Although she doesn't agree with what Walter wants to do, she does still love him, and she wants Beneatha to love him too.

     Travis announces that the moving men have arrived just as Mr. Lindner appears. He comes in hesitantly but pleased that the family is willing to make the deal. Walter speaks on behalf of the family, but he struggles to say what he wants to say. He tells about his father and how hard he worked. As he is speaking, Walter changes his mind and realizes he can't give in. He tells Mr. Lindner that they don't want his money. Mr. Lindner tries to appeal to Mama, but she says that her son has made his decision, and they stand behind him, so Mr. Lindner leaves.

     Once he's out, Ruth yells out that they need to pack, so they can all get out. Beneatha says to Mama that Asagai asked to marry her and move with him to Africa. She says she'd like to go there and practice medicine. Walter jumps in and says he thinks that she should marry George Murchison instead, which starts an argument between them. Ruth and Lena watch them, smiling, because they know how strong-willed they are. Mama is proud that Walter stood up for the family.

     After everyone else exits with boxes to bring down to the truck, Mama is left alone. She grabs her plant, looks around one last time, and leaves.

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