Why does George read books in Hansberry's play, "A Raisin in the Sun"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

George has a surfaceful, almost cynical, attitude about books.  He tells Beneatha,

"You read books - to learn facts - to get grades - to pass the course - to get a degree.  That's all - it has nothing to do with thoughts". 

George's outlook reflects his materialistic values.  He is a pragmatist who is focused on status and wealth; he has no understanding and little patience for Beneatha's musings on her background and identity, and flat out states that he doesn't want "to hear all about (her) thoughts".  George is the kind of guy who doesn't "go for the atmosphere...(he goes) for what (he) sees".  As such, what he looks for in a girl is light-heartedness and good-looks; he wants "a nice, simple, sophisticated girl...not a poet".  George's sense of a relationship goes only as far as the satisfaction of his immediate desires.  He is artificial, and has no desire to really get to know other people or to examine the realm of ideas (Act 2, Scene 2).

 

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A Raisin in the Sun

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