What is the symbolism in the quote "do you hear the beating of the birds flying low over the mountains..." (2.1) in A Raisin in the Sun?

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At the beginning of act two, scene one, Walter enters the apartment drunk while Beneatha is wearing the traditional African garments given to her by Joseph Asagai. As Beneatha performs and dances to the Nigerian melody, Walter follows her lead and pretends to be a mighty African warrior. Walter leaps onto the table and imagines himself holding a sharp spear and leading a group of warriors into battle.

Walter proceeds to give a speech urging his African brothers to take up arms and prepare to meet their destiny. During Walter's speech, he asks if his African brothers can hear the "waters rushing against the shores of the coastlands" or the "screeching of the cocks in yonder hills." As Walter assumes an unexpected majesty, he continues his speech by asking,

"Do you hear the beating of the wings of the birds flying low over the mountains and the low places of our land?" (Hansberry, 21

Walter then asks if his black brothers can hear the songs of war, which are preparing them for the "GREATNESS OF THE TIME!". The birds' beating wings symbolically represent strong spiritual forces and the ascension of Walter's soul, which reflects his internal feelings as he connects with his African ancestry. Birds and wings represent flight, which corresponds to the emotions and spiritual renewal Walter is currently experiencing at the moment. He is completely lost in his imagination and genuinely feels as if he is a descendant of the great Chaka.

The path of the birds flying over the mountains and low places is also symbolically significant and represents the obstacles African Americans face in a prejudiced society. Walter's moving speech reflects his desire to ascend to a higher spiritual plane and lead his black brothers to success by overcoming everyday obstacles.

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