As was mentioned in the previous post, dramatic irony is when the audience knows more about a situation than a character or actor. In Act One, Scene 2, Beneatha criticizes her mother for not knowing more about African culture. Lena proceeds to confuse the country of Liberia for Nigeria when Beneatha tells her about Joseph Asagai's home country. Lena also admits to her daughter that she donates money to her church to help save Africans from their "heathenism." Beneatha responds to her mother's ignorance by telling her, "I'm afraid they need more salvation from the British and the French" (Hansberry, 14). Beneatha then begs her mother not to ask Joseph any ignorant questions about his heritage when he comes over to visit.
When Joseph Asagai arrives, Lena pretends to know about African culture by quoting her daughter. She tells Joseph,
"I think it's so sad the way our American Negroes don't know nothing about Africa 'cept Tarzan and all that. And all that money they pour into these churches when they ought to be helping you people over there drive out them French and Englishmen done taken away your land" (Hansberry, 16).
Joseph Asagai is impressed with Lena's knowledge and conviction concerning the plight of oppressed Africans. This is an example of dramatic irony because the audience is aware that Lena is simply quoting what her daughter said about Africans. Joseph Asagai is unaware of Lena's ignorance.