A Rasin in the Sun
Act II, Scene I
Later on the same Saturday, Beneatha emerges from her room cloaked in the Nigerian clothes that Asagai has brought her. She dances around the apartment, claiming to be performing a tribal dance while shouting “OCOMOGOSIAY” and singing. Ruth finds Beneatha’s pageantry silly and questions her about it. Meanwhile, Walter returns home drunk. He sees Beneatha all dressed up and acts out some made-up tribal rituals with her, at one point standing on a table and pronouncing himself “Flaming Spear.” Ruth looks on wearily. George Murchison arrives to pick up Beneatha. Beneatha removes her headdress to reveal that she has cut off most of her hair, leaving only an unstraightened afro. Everyone is shocked, amazed, and slightly disappointed with Beneatha, prompting a fierce discussion between Beneatha and George about the importance of their African heritage. Beneatha goes to change for the theater, and Walter talks to George about business plans. George does not seem interested. Walter then becomes belligerent as he makes fun of George’s white shoes. Embarrassed, Ruth explains that the white shoes are part of the “college style.” George obviously looks down on Walter—calling him “Prometheus”—and Walter gets even angrier at him. George and Beneatha finally leave, and Ruth and Walter then begin to fight about Walter going out, spending money, and interacting with people like Willy Harris. They do begin to make up, though, by acknowledging that a great distance has grown between them. Mama comes home and announces that she has put a down payment on a house with some of the insurance money. Ruth is elated to hear this news because she too dreams of moving out of their current apartment and into a more respectable home. Meanwhile, Walter is noticeably upset because he wants to put all the money into the liquor store venture. They all become worried when they hear that the house is in Clybourne Park, an entirely white neighborhood. Mama...
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