Secrets Don’t Make Friends…

In the story A Raisin in the Sun, the family has been getting better. Walter seems to be more joyful to be around and actually took Ruth to the movies and they had a delightful walk through the snow and mama got some cool gifts! But, there has been some secrets that have been hidden and unfortunately, in Act II scene III, Walter and Ruth are hiding both of the secrets and also, lying.

On page 80, (right after Lindner leaves) mama asks Ruth and Walter what the man wanted and this is their response:

Mama: (Innocently) Who?

Beneatha: The welcoming committee. They said they’re sure going to be glad to see you when you get out there.

Walter: (Devilishly) Yeah, they said they can’t hardly wait to see your face. (Laughter)

Mama: (Sensing their factiousness) What is the matter with you all?

Walter: Ain’t nothing the matter with us. We just telling you ’bout the gentlemen that came to see you this afternoon. From the Clybourne Park Improvement Association.

Mama: What he want?

Ruth: To welcome you, honey!

As you can see, Walter and Ruth were not the only liars here. But, I can see why they did it. Mama bought them a house and was trying to better her and family by putting them in a better neighborhood. If Mama were to find out the real reason why Lindner was there, it would break her heart and would probably blame herself for putting her family (in what seems to be) a worse position.

After this whole fiasco, Bobo came and rang the doorbell while the family was passing Mama her gifts. Come to find out, Willy never met Bobo at the train station to head to Springfield. He has been missing for six hours with no phone calls, sightings, or contact with him. This stirs the pot for Walter because the family found out that he had used his sisters college money for his new liquor business he wants to start. He gave Willy and Bobo the money for the business, hence their (almost) train ride to Springfield and they lost the money.

To me, this is plain selfishness. I understand his reasoning to start a business and to make more money for his family. But, that is his sisters education and he threw it down the drain. If he were to sit them down, talk, and maybe work something out then I see that as being reasonable. But, selfishness took the win on this one.

Another common theme I have seen throughout this story thus far especially this scene) is, inconsistency. Walter and the family have been up, down, sideways, and backwards and they cannot seem to stay on the same page at all. As much as I want to see everything start to come together, I am getting this feeling that it will not be happening anytime soon.

Will Mama find out about why Lindner visited? Do you think Willy stole the money from Walter and Bobo?

4 thoughts on “Secrets Don’t Make Friends…”

  1. What stood out to me the most during the scene when Walter finds out about the money going missing, and he says ” Walter: THAT MONEY IS MADE OUT OF MY FATHERS FLESH-” (pg. 128). I find that comment rude and a lie because a good amount of that money was from mama’s insurance, and he then lost her money along with Benetha’s money for education. This scene made me not like the character Walter even more because he was more upset about losing the money to open his store, then the fact that he also ruined Benetha’s life.

  2. I don’t see the discourse between Ruth, Walter, Beneatha, and Mama as lying. I believe that Ruth, Walter, and Beneatha were taking the irony of their conversation with Lindner and telling it to Mama in a comical way. Out of context, the dialogue certainly seems to suggest the family lying to Mama, but Hansberry uses stage directions to let her audience know that Ruth, Walter, and Beneatha are teasing Mama. Words such as “teasingly,”devilishly,” “laughter,” and “mockingly” show that the family does not try and hide the reality of the situation from Mama (2.3 pg.119-120). If anything, they are making it more clear by turning it into a satire. Finally, Mama finally realizes what is going on when Hansberry directs her character to sense “their facetiousness” (120).

    In all, I think the family is trying to make a serious matter humorous because that is one of the only ways they know how to deal with how illogical racism is.

    In response to your question, I do believe that Willy stole Walter’s and Bobo’s money. Bobo certainly makes this notion clear when he says “When a cat take off with your money he don’t leave no road maps (sic.)” (128).

  3. This was a really good overview of the Scene!! I do agree that Ruth and Walter both lied to Mama, obviously with good intentions though. It’s hard to perceive Walter doing anything without it benefitting himself but Ruth had a very good reasoning to lie to Mama. Ignorance is bliss. Ruth tells Mama that Lindner came to “Welcome you, honey” on page 120 which somewhat startled me actually, just because she is usually so reliant and truthful to Mama. I believe that eventually, Mama will find out about Lindner’s visitation and what is in store for them in this new community. Lastly, I do believe that Willy stole the money which is utterly unfair to the other two, especially because Walter made the stupid decision to give Willy Bennie’s tuition money as well.

  4. I can see how you would think that Walter and Ruth were lying to mama about the situation. How I saw it was that they were being sarcastic and pretty ignorant. They were almost mocking the man to make it seem like he was actually coming to welcome them even though it was the complete opposite.

    “Walter: (Devishly) Yeah, they said they can hardly wait to see you face. (Laughter)” pg 120″

    This quote shows how they were being facetious and lying straight to mama’s face to make her feel bad. I don’t think they were even trying to hide the fact that Lindner was unwelcoming them.

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