A Raisin in the Sun: Top Ten Quotes

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  1. Its furnishings are typical and undistinguished and their primary feature now is that they have clearly had to accommodate the living of too many people for too many years – and they are tired.

    p. 53 This reference is part of the stage directions in Act One Scene One and describes the Youngers’ living room. This is the main setting throughout the play and demonstrates the poverty they have had to endure.

  2. I been married eleven years and I got a boy who sleeps in the living room – (very, very quietly) – and all I got to give him is stories about how rich white people live!

    p.57 Walter’s lack of choices and bitterness with his life are made clear in this quotation.

  3. The colored woman in this world ... Don’t understand about building their men up and making ‘em feel like they somebody. Like they can do something.

    p. 57 Walter is the mouthpiece here for expressing the divisive effects of racism. He blames his wife and mother at this point rather than the racist ideology that has oppressed him and his family. His point also demonstrates that racist thinking invites these barriers between oppressed groups and for him ‘the colored woman’ is a party to keeping him down.

  4. The Murchisons are honest-to-God-real-live-rich colored people, and the only people in the world who are more snobbish than rich white people are rich colored people. 

    p. 64 Beneatha is used here to argue that the effects of capitalism have meant the division of classes between African Americans.

  5. There’s something come down between me and them that don’t let us understand each other and I don’t know what it is.

    p. 65 After an argument with Beneatha, Mama tells Ruth how she can see a barrier between her and her children. Her children are not so willing to accept the lot they have been given and are less willing to be grateful to God.

  6. He talked Brotherhood. He said everybody ought to learn how to sit down and hate each other with good Christian fellowship.

    p. 91 In this quotation, Beneatha explains to Mama how Lindner came to bribe the family in order that they would not move to Clybourne Park.

  7. It expresses ME.

    p. 92 This is Mama’s response when Beneatha asks if she intends to take ‘that raggedy-looking old thing’ (the plant) when they move to their new home. Mama uses Beneatha’s words against her, as she has insisted on wanting to express herself earlier, but there is also an element of truth in what she says.

  8. You show where our five generations done come to!

    p. 102 Mama reminds Walter of the family’s history and insists that his son, Travis, be a witness to him taking money from Lindner. She makes her point to shame Walter into seeing that by taking this bribe he will have taken them backwards rather than forwards.

  9. He finally come into his manhood today, didn’t he? Kind of like a rainbow after the rain ...

    p. 104 Mama talks to Ruth with pride and highlights how Walter has become a man in the full sense when he refused to take Lindner’s money.

  10. The lights dim down. The door opens and she comes back in, grabs her plant, and goes out for the last time.

    p. 104 The plays ends at this point as Mama leaves and then returns for the plant that she claimed expresses her. Despite the lack of sunshine, this plant has continued to live and symbolises a spirit that will not be thwarted.

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