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Act 2, Scene 3: Saturday, moving day, one week later. Notes from A Raisin in the Sun

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A Raisin in the Sun Act 2, Scene 3: Saturday, moving day, one week later.

Ruth is packing and singing before the lights come up on stage. Bennie enters the living room to help and Ruth shows her the new curtains she bought for the new house. She tells Bennie to write a sign on a box that has Mama's fragile china on it. The wording is large and Ruth jokes that both Bennie and her brother, Walter's philosophy on life is the same: things have more emphasis when they are bigger. Ruth plans to take a bath when she first gets into the new house. Ruth is giddy and tells Bennie about how she and Walter were happy and went to the movies last night holding hands.

Walter walks in with a large smile on his face and a box. He takes the record player out of the box, plugs it in, and starts to dance with Ruth to the music. Bennie calls them old-fashioned Negroes, however, today nothing bothers Walter. He teases Bennie about being too proactive and intense and continues to dance with his loving wife. "Girl, I do believe you are the first person in the history of the entire human race to successfully brainwash yourself" Act 2, Scene 3, pg. 98.

Topic Tracking: Racism 5

In the middle of the joyful dancing, the doorbell rings. Bennie answers it and is taken aback by the middle aged white man standing before her looking for Mrs. Lena Younger. Walter takes control as the man of the house and invites the man, Mr. Karl Lindner, to sit down. He is a representative of the Clybourne Park Improvement Association and has come to the Younger family to discuss their upcoming move into his neighborhood. Beneatha immediately picks up on his true motives to ask them not to move; however, Ruth and Walter remain naïve to his subtle actions, continuing to offer him refreshments and warmth. Lindner claims that problems between colored and white people exist simply because nobody sits down and talks to each other. In a roundabout, verbose method, Lindner offers the Younger family money so that they will not move into Clybourne Park. Ruth, Walter, and Bennie are appalled by Mr. Lindner's words and actions and force him to leave the house immediately without coming to an agreement. Lindner opens and says:

"Well - I don't understand why you people are reacting this way. What do you think you are going to gain by moving into a neighborhood where you just aren't wanted and where some elements - well - people can get awful worked up when they feel that their whole way of life and everything they've ever worked for is threatened...You just can't force people to change their hearts, son" Act 2, Scene 3, pg. 105-6.

Topic Tracking: Money 8
Topic Tracking: Racism 6

Mr. Lindner places his card on the table and leaves, just in time for Mama and Travis to return. Walter and Bennie facetiously tell Mama about the welcoming committee. After Mama inquires if they were threatened, Bennie tells her things have changed since her time. "He talked Brotherhood. He said everybody ought to learn how to sit down and hate each other with good Christian fellowship" Act 2, Scene 3, pg. 107.

Mama continues to talk of moving to the new house with her plant. Walter hugs her and starts to sing gospel songs in her ear. He plans to give her the gift box that is wrapped from the family. Ruth, Walter and Bennie have bought mama gardening tools for her new garden, while Travis has bought her a ridiculously large gardening hat on his own. She protects his feelings by showing her pleasure with the hat, while everyone else laughs. Mama is happy, for she has never before received a present without a holiday.

Everyone continues to pack when the doorbell rings, hoping that it is not the moving men. Walter Lee answers it secretly and rushes to get the money. He invites the small man inside and introduces him as Bobo to his family, wondering where Willy is. Ruth is suspicious and worried. Walter Lee starts asking about the investments in Springfield; however, Bobo has difficulty telling Walter what truly happened. He never got to invest the money because Willy took off with all of their money. Walter loses control, screams and cries, that that money was made of his father's flesh. Everyone enters the room and sees the spectacle, understanding what happened. Walter tells Mama that he lost all $6500 because he never went to the bank. Mama is furious and in shock thinking of her dead husband:

"I seen...him...night after night...come in...and look at that rug...and then look at me...the red showing in his eyes...the veins moving in his head...I seen him grow thin and old before he was forty...working and working and working like somebody's old horse...killing himself...and you - you give it all away in a day..." Act 2, Scene 3, pg. 117.

Topic Tracking: Money 9
Topic Tracking: Family 9

Mama begins to ask for strength as she faints before Beneatha.

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