Act II, Scene 2: Questions and Answers
2. Why does Beneatha refer to him as a fool, when speaking of him to her mother? In what ways would she consider him foolish?
3. When Mrs. Johnson says, “I’m just soooooo happy for y’all,” do you think she is being honest or hypocritical? What later actions or words of hers either confirm or deny that she is speaking honestly here?
4. Why do Mama and Ruth roll their eyes before offering Mrs. Johnson the coffee? What do you think they are reacting to?
5. Why do you think Beneatha greets Mrs. Johnson so curtly? Why does Mrs. Younger object?
6. This question relates tangentially to the play and can be answered in many ways. What do you know about the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups like them which exist in the United States? Do you think they should be allowed to continue to operate or do you think they should be outlawed? State your reasons.
7. In your opinion, why has Walter’s drinking gotten worse?
8. Do you think Mrs. Younger made the right decision in deciding to give money for the liquor store venture to Walter? Why or why not?
9. What do we understand clearly when Travis asks his father if he’s drunk?
10. At the end of the scene, when Walter says he will hand the world to his son, do you think this will really happen? Why or why not?
1. George Murchison has a tendency to bully people (as when he referred to Walter as “Prometheus,” knowing Walter would not be familiar with that name). Beneatha is not a person to be easily bullied. So when it becomes apparent that he will not take her feelings seriously, she tells him to leave.
2. A fool is someone who does not have a sense of priorities or of highly developed values. It has become apparent at this point that Beneatha and Murchison have very different outlooks on life. Hers is serious and dedicated, while his is very conventional.
3. Based on her later statements, her continuing lack of tact, and her accepting the Youngers’ hospitality while being continually stingy with them, we see hypocrisy, not real joy, in Mrs. Johnson’s comment.
4. Since Mrs. Johnson has been hinting around for a cup of coffee after she has been given pie and milk, and since she is so frugal herself, a reaction such as this one would be expected from Mama and Ruth.
5. Beneatha and Mrs. Johnson are almost complete opposites in their personality characteristics. Beneatha would have very little patience with Mrs. Johnson’s hypocrisy, lack of courage, and indirect put-downs of the whole family.
6. The Ku Klux Klan is one of many hate groups in this country which are dedicated to violence as...
(The entire section is 718 words.)