Act II, Scene 1: Questions and Answers
1. What significance for their continued relationship do you think it has that Beneatha prepares to go out to a play with George Murchison in the dress that Joseph Asagai got for her?
2. What do you think has prompted Beneatha to cut her hair short and into an “Afro” hairstyle?
3. Do you think politics is the only reason Beneatha declares she hates assimilationists? If not, what could another factor be?
4. What does it show about Ruth’s awareness of racial tensions that in a casual chat with George Murchison she refers to bombings?
5. What do you think prompts Walter to assert that he has been to New York plenty of times when his wife flatly contradicts him?
6. Why does Walter launch into a string of insults to George Murchison? Why might Walter be so resentful of Murchison?
7. How do you think Walter knew that Murchison was insulting him by calling him “Prometheus,” even though he didn’t know who Prometheus was?
8. Why does Mama ignore her son when she comes home? What does this show… is the tension in their relationship?
9. What theme in the play is recalled to the reference to “marching roaches”? Why do you think the author put that phrase in the play at that point?
10. What quality do we see in Mrs. Younger when she tells her son, “When it gets like that in life—you just got to do something different, push on out and do something bigger”?
1. One would think it interesting that when Beneatha is going out with Murchison, she wears the dress Asagai got for her. This might be considered the beginning of her increased affection for her school friend, and the beginning of her feeling estranged from Murchison. This is a sign that things may change in her relationships with both men.
2. In keeping with her awareness of her African heritage and what we expect is her deepening feelings for Asagai (as noted in the answer above), we see...
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