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A Raisin in the Sun: Quotes – Act 1, Scene 1

Still, we can see that at some time, a time probably no longer remembered by the family (except perhaps for MAMA), the furnishings of this room were actually selected with care and love and even hope – and brought to this apartment and arranged with taste and pride. (stage directions)

The above quote shows that the family’s history of pride is represented through their furniture.

Crazy ‘bout his children! God knows there was plenty wrong with Walter Younger – hard-headed, mean, kind of wild with women – plenty wrong with him. But he sure loved his children. Always wanted them to have something – be something. That’s where Brother gets all these notions, I reckon.

The above quote deals with the theme of family.

WALTER (to Ruth):
Anybody who talks to me has got to be a good-for-nothing loudmouth, ain’t he? And what you know about who is just a good-for-nothing loudmouth? Charlie Atkins was just a “good-for-nothing loudmouth” too, wasn’t he! When he wanted me to go in the dry-cleaning business with him. And now – he’s grossing a hundred thousand a year. A hundred thousand dollars a year! You still call him a loudmouth!

…Baby, don’t nothing happen for you in this world ‘less you pay somebody off!

The above quote shows us that Walter believes he needs to spend money in order to gain money. He means to spend money on a bribe to help get his liquor license. This is a good quote when talking about the theme of poverty.

WALTER (to Beneatha):
Have we figured out yet just exactly how much medical school is going to cost?

This is another good quote for the theme of poverty.

(Wearily) Honey, you never say nothing new. I listen to you every day, every night and every morning, and you never say nothing new. (Shrugging) So you would rather be Mr. Arnold than be his chauffeur. So – I would rather be living in Buckingham Palace.

The above quotes shows us that Ruth is weary from hearing her husband have the same complaints and the same ideas to fix their problems. The family’s issues have put a strain on their relationship. This is a good quote if you’re talking about the theme of suffering.

Get over it? What are you talking about, Ruth? Listen, I’m going to be a doctor. I’m not worried about who I’m going to marry yet – if I ever get married.

The above quote is Beneatha talking to Ruth. It’s a useful one if you’re discussing the theme of gender.

Can you think of any other important quotes from this scene? Let us know in the comments below!

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