In A Raisin in the Sun, why would Beneatha bring people over if she thinks the family is so ignorant?

Beneatha brings people to her home because it was the proper etiquette at the time for a man to meet his date at the girl's home. It was also probably easier because going out all the time could get very expensive. Moreover, Beneatha loves her family and wants to share some of her new ideas with them. As she begins to embrace her African heritage, she wants her family to understand some of the African culture, as well.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Beneatha brings people over to her home, even though she thinks the family is ignorant, for several reasons. First, having a young man call for a young woman at her home was standard for this period of time. If the two people skipped this somewhat expected custom, it might be considered poor manners or a breach of proper etiquette. Second, it was probably easier for Beneatha to bring people over because exclusively having Joseph Asagai or her other college boyfriend entertain her outside her home could get very expensive and translate into seeing one another less frequently because of the cost of the date. Moreover, even if Beneatha thinks her family is ignorant, as many college age students believe about their facilities, she still loves them. She loves Mama and her nephew and despite any sibling issues her and Walter might have with one another, they still love one another.

This also might be another reason why Beneatha would bring people over to her home so that she can model certain behavior for her family and instruct or at least enlighten them about things she is discovering during her education and her relationships with new people and help them discover new ideas for themselves. Her relationship with Joseph Asagai, who is from Nigeria, opens her eyes to her lineage and she wants her family to understand how she now embraces her heritage. She had accepted American culture as her own but begins to question this. She begins to play African music at home and to wear African attire in an effort to understand more about the culture. She seems to want to share some of these new thoughts with her family in an effort to open their eyes, just as she believes her eyes have been opened for the first time.

Last Reviewed by eNotes Editorial on March 2, 2021
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial