A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

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Act II, Scene 2: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What qualities do we see in George Murchison at the beginning of the scene that Beneatha might not like?

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?

Answers
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...

(The entire section is 718 words.)