marked by complexity and richness of detail
She is coquettishly fanning herself with an
ornate oriental fan.
enraptured, her eyes jar away "back to the past")
distant but within sight
Walter: Do you hear the screeching of the cocks in
yonder hills beyond where the chiefs meet in council for the coming of the mighty war?
In this context, it is almost as if one points in the direction of something that is not physically present.
conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual
George: Oh, don't be so proud of yourself Bennie, just because you look
exercising influence or control
Beneatha: It means someone who is willing to give up his own culture and submerge himself completely in the
dominant, and in this case oppressive culture!
the state of being sober and not intoxicated by alcohol
Walter (Feeling his head;
sobriety coming) Where's Mama?
examine carefully for accuracy
Looking Murchison over from head to toe,
scrutinizing his carefully casual tweed sports jacket over cashmere V-neck sweater over soft eyelet shirt and tie, and soft slacks, finished off with white buckskin shoes.
sit or stand astride of
Walter (sipping and wiping his lips with the back of his hand, and
straddling a chair backwards to talk to the other man) Shrewd move.
marked by practical hardheaded intelligence
Walter (sipping and wiping his lips with the back of his hand, and straddling a chair backwards to talk to the other man)
apathy demonstrated by an absence of emotional reactions
Walter (Understanding the
indifference, and offended) Yeah well, when you get the time, man.
the study and classification of human societies
Filling up your heads (Counting off on his fingers) with the
sociology and the psychology but they teaching you how to be a man?
the science of mental life
Filling up your heads (Counting off on his fingers) with the sociology and the
psychology but they teaching you how to be a man?
bright with a steady but subdued shining
Don't you see no stars
gleaming that you can't reach out and grab?
in a manner expressing sorrow
Plaintively) Walter Lee why don't we just try to talk about it ...
the act of giving up, as a claim or office or possession
Ruth: Well (She waits a long time, and then with
resignation starts to put away her things) .
uneasiness about the fitness of an action
Ruth: (Coming to him, gently and with
misgiving, but coming to him) Honey . . . life don't have to be like this.
call upon in supplication
imploring quality in her voice, her manner, makes her almost like a girl now).
quickly and without warning
(Ruth's radiance jades
a state of deep-seated ill-will
(Walter finally turns slowly to face his mother with incredulity and
(And she builds with momentum as she starts to circle the room with an
exuberant, almost tearfully happy release).
the place properly occupied or served by another
We was going backwards '
stead of forwards talking 'bout killing babies and wishing each other was dead .
In context, "stead" means "instead."
by reasonable assumption
Beneatha and George come in,
presumably from an evening out again.
reject outright and bluntly
(He starts to kiss her, she
rebuffs him again and he jumps up)
physically and mentally fatigued
Mama and Ruth exchange
weary and knowing glances.
extremely sharp or intense
Mama (Changing her expression to
acute delight and a ringing cheerful greeting) Oh hello there, Johnson.
in an energetic manner
She is inclined to wave her wrist
vigorously at the height of her exclamatory comments.
spoken with emphasis
Johnson: (All is a coo, an
emphatic coo) Aw ain't that lovely.
a story with characters behaving in an extreme emotional way
(With a tremendous and rather insincere sense of
melodrama) 'Course I thinks it's wonderful how our folks keeps on pushing out.
Undaunted) My goodnight coffee, I calls it!
marked by excessive or uncontrollable emotion
(Walter's voice has risen in pitch and
hysterical promise and on the last line he lifts Travis high)