Beneatha and Asagai. What cultural differences cause tension in their relationship? How does he prove he really cares for her?

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jamiekee | Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Although Beneatha is attempting to discover her roots, she still doesn't seem willing to take on an entirely new culture. She shows pride in her African roots by modeling the Nigerian robes given to her by Asagai and enjoying the native music she receives. However, when Beneatha feels like her dream of being a doctor is shattered because of Walter, she looks upon life as unfair. She feels that it's pointless to even try. Asagai shares with Beneatha the hardships he expects to endure in African and states that no one should give up a dream. When she continues to feel sorry for herself, Asagai tells her to stop moaning and groaning and do something about it. Benetha sees life as a circle where people go around and around and never reach their dreams. Asagai, on the other hand, sees life as a long line that reaches into infinity. He knows that in Africa there is poverty, illiteracy, and human suffering, but he also knows that he cannot stop dreaming and must challenge himself to make a difference in his culture. In essence, he appears to be saying that Americans are a bit spoiled and don't pursue their dreams when something gets in the way. Asagai knows that to make a change in Africa he must never give up his dreams and must keep doing all that he can to make a difference. Asagai proves that he truly cares for Beneatha when he asks her to marry him and return to Africa to pursue her dream of being a doctor.


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