Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun 384 words

  1. sand dollar
    flattened disklike sea urchins that live on sandy bottoms
    A hundred thou- sand dollars a year!
  2. petty bourgeoisie
    lower middle class (shopkeepers and clerical staff etc.)
    On one level Walter Lee is merely aspiring to full and acknowl- edged humanity; on another level he yearns to strut his "manhood," a predictable mix of machismo and fantasy. 14 A RAISIN IN THE SUN But Hansberry takes it even further to show us that on still another level Walter Lee, worker though he be, has the "realizable" dream of the black petty bourgeoisie.
  3. petit bourgeois
    lower middle class (shopkeepers and clerical staff etc.)
    Monsieur le petit bourgeois noir himself!," cries Beneatha, the other of Lena Younger's children.
  4. peckerwood
    bird with strong claws and a stiff tail adapted for climbing and a hard chisel-like bill for boring into wood for insects
    But you have to think of life like it is and these here Chicago peckerwoods is some baaaad peckerwoods.
  5. Yoruba
    a member of a West African people living chiefly in southwestern Nigeria
    (A Yoruba exclamation for admiration) You wear it well . . . very well . . . mutilated hair and all.
  6. defoliate
    deprived of leaves
    When Mama Lena and Beneatha are felled by news of Walter Lee's weakness and dishonesty, their life's w ill the desired greening of their humanity is defoliated.
  7. Malcolm X
    militant civil rights leader (1925-1965)
    Malcolm X said that for the Afro-American it was the American Nightmare.
  8. dichotomous
    divided or dividing into two sharply distinguished parts or classifications
    His name is Lindner (as in "neither a bor- rower nor a Lindner be"), and the thirty or so "pieces of silver" he proffers are meant to help the niggers understand the dichotomous dream.
  9. squinch
    a small arch built across the interior angle of two walls (usually to support a spire)
    TRAVIS enters and stands regarding her) TRAVIS What's the matter, girl, you cracking up? 66 A RAISIN IN THE SUN BENEATHA Shut Up. (She pulls the headdress off and looks at herself in the mirror and clutches at her hair again and squinches her eyes as if trying to imagine some- thing.
  10. coastland
    land in a coastal area
    WALTER Do you hear the waters rushing against the shores of the coastlands BENEATHA OCOMOGOSIAY!
  11. twinned
    being two identical
    It was the "explosion" Langston Hughes talked about in his great poem "Harlem" centerpiece of his incomparable 16 A RAISIN IN THE SUN Montage of a Dream Deferred, from which the play's title was taken and it informs the play as its twinned projec- tion: dream or coming reality.
  12. business people
    people who transact business (especially business executives)
    RUTH Yes MAMA We ain't no business people, Ruth.
  13. pause
    cease an action temporarily
    ( Pause) Put a lot of nice butter on it?
  14. liquor license
    a license authorizing the holder to sell alcoholic beverages
    BOBO (To her) This deal that me and Walter went into with Willy Me and Willy was going to go down to Springfield and spread some money 'round so's we wouldn't have to wait so long for the liquor license .
  15. roach
    European freshwater food fish having a greenish back
    (He exits) BENEATHA (Drily) I can't imagine that it would hurt him it has never hurt the roaches.
  16. realizable
    capable of being realized
    On one level Walter Lee is merely aspiring to full and acknowl- edged humanity; on another level he yearns to strut his "manhood," a predictable mix of machismo and fantasy. 14 A RAISIN IN THE SUN But Hansberry takes it even further to show us that on still another level Walter Lee, worker though he be, has the " realizable" dream of the black petty bourgeoisie.
  17. chauvinism
    fanatical patriotism
    Similarly, Walter Lee and Ruth's dialogues lay out his male chauvinism and even self- and group-hate born of the frustration of too many dreams too long deferred: the powerlessness of black people to control their own fate or that of their families in capitalist America where race is place, white is right, and money makes and defines the man.
  18. exasperate
    make furious
    (The boy gives her an exasperated look for her lack of understanding, and eats grudgingly) TRAVIS You think Grandmama would have it?
  19. operating table
    table on which the patient lies during a surgical operation
    He dances with RUTH some more and starts to laugh and stops and pantomimes someone over an operating table) I can just see that chick someday looking down at some poor cat on an operating table and before she starts to slice him, she says .
  20. Prometheus
    (Greek mythology) the Titan who stole fire from Olympus and gave it to mankind; Zeus punished him by chaining him to a rock where an eagle gnawed at his liver until Hercules rescued him
    To WALTER) Good night, Prometheus!
  21. crumple
    to gather something into small wrinkles or folds
    You ain't even looked at it and you have decided ( Crumpling his papers) Well, you tell that to my boy tonight when you put him to sleep on the living-room couch .
  22. class struggle
    conflict between social or economic classes (especially between the capitalist and proletariat classes)
    Not since Theodore Ward's Big White Fog (1938) has there been a play so thoroughly and expertly reflective of class struggle within a black family.
  23. mutilate
    destroy or injure severely
    (A Yoruba exclamation for admiration) You wear it well . . . very well . . . mutilated hair and all.
  24. fice
    a nervous belligerent little mongrel dog
    Me and Ruth done made some sacri- fices for you why can't you do something for the family?
  25. ignore
    refuse to acknowledge
    And it is one reason why some critics will always have a problem with the realism of a Hansberry and ignore the multilayered rich- ness of her form.
  26. double-decker
    a vehicle carrying many passengers; used for public transport
    Me and Beneatha still have to share our room, but Travis have one of his own and (With difficulty) I figure if the new baby is a boy, we could get one of them double-decker outfits .
  27. record player
    machine in which rotating records cause a stylus to vibrate and the vibrations are amplified acoustically or electronically
    He puts his package in a corner and puts a phonograph record, which he has brought in with him, on the record player.
  28. elitism
    the attitude that society should be governed by an elite group of individuals
    She is, on the one hand, secure in the collegiate world of "ideas" and elitism, above the mass; on the other, undeceived by the myths and symbols of class and status.
  29. bourgeoisie
    the social class between the lower and upper classes
    If we opponents of racism, sexism, and the degeneracies of capitalism today were to write Richard the Nix and Ronnie the Rex, we would not be called the Bard's heirs, although it is the bourgeoisie who came to shower celebration on Shakespeare now they provide sterile, dead productions to hide the real texts.
  30. enrapture
    hold spellbound
    BENEATHA listens, enraptured, her 76 A RAISIN IN THE SUN 77 eyes jar away "back to the past."
  31. bourgeois
    (according to Marxist thought) being of the property-owning class and exploitive of the working class
    This is also why Shake- A RAISIN IN THE SUN 11 speare deals with race (Othello), anti-Semitism (The Merchant of Venice), and feminism (The Taming of the Shrew) ; because these will be the continuing dilemmas of the bourgeois epoch!
  32. phonograph
    machine in which rotating records cause a stylus to vibrate and the vibrations are amplified acoustically or electronically
    (RUTH follows her with her eyes as she goes to the phonograph and puts on a record and turns and waits ceremoniously for the music to come up.
  33. fester
    ripen and generate pus
    Or fester like a sore And then run?
  34. replication
    a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one)
    Hansberry's warnings about neo-colonialism and the growth (and corruption) of a post-colonial African bour- geoisie "the servants of empire," as Asagai calls them are dazzling because of their subsequent replication by reality.
  35. down payment
    a partial payment made at the time of purchase; the balance to be paid later
    (She waits several sec- onds, trying to make up her mind about something, and looks at RUTH a little tentatively before going on) Been thinking that we maybe could meet the notes on a little old two-story somewhere, with a yard where Travis could play in the summertime, if we use part of the insurance for a down payment and everybody kind of pitch in.
  36. stereotype
    a conventional or formulaic conception or image
    The role itself of family head, folksy counsel, up- holder of tradition has caused many people to see her as the stereotyped "black matriarch" of establishment and commercial sociological fame.
  37. emphasis
    intensity or forcefulness of expression
    (He rises and finds a cigarette in her handbag on the table and crosses to the little window and looks out, smoking and deeply enjoying this first one) RUTH (Almost matter of factly, a complaint too automatic to deserve emphasis) Why you always got to smoke before you eat in the morning?
  38. ping
    a sharp high-pitched resonant sound (as of a sonar echo or a bullet striking metal)
    (To MAMA) Lord, I sure don't feel like whip- ping nobody today!
  39. colonialism
    exploitation by a stronger country of weaker one; the use of the weaker country's resources to strengthen and enrich the stronger country
    Hansberry's warnings about neo- colonialism and the growth (and corruption) of a post-colonial African bour- geoisie "the servants of empire," as Asagai calls them are dazzling because of their subsequent replication by reality.
  40. fly-by
    a flight at a low altitude (usually of military aircraft) over spectators on the ground
    This ain't no fly-by-night proposition, baby.
  41. giggle
    laugh nervously
    She gives in at last to his raunchiness and in a fit of giggling allows herself to be drawn into his mood.
  42. guitar
    a stringed instrument usually having six strings; played by strumming or plucking
    (With enthusiasm) Madeline is going to start my guitar lessons today.
  43. ghetto
    a poor densely populated city district occupied by a minority ethnic group linked together by economic hardship and social restrictions
    And she always saw the present and future in the light of the past clear back to the slavery of the Old 8 A RAISIN IN THE SUN South and the new slavery that followed for black workers who migrated to the industrial ghettos of the North.
  44. con man
    a swindler who exploits the confidence of his victim
    Walter Lee's dream has festered, and in his dealings with the slack-jawed con man Willie (merchant of the stuff of dreams), his dream is "running."
  45. scrutinize
    examine carefully for accuracy with the intent of verification
    WALTER (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) Why all you college boys wear them faggoty-looking white shoes?
  46. hallelujah
    a shout or song of praise to God
    (She wipes at an im- aginary army of marching roaches) and this cramped little closet which ain't now or never was no kitchen! . . . then I say it loud and good, HALLELUJAH!
  47. aberrant
    markedly different from an accepted norm
    And this is another legacy of the play: It was one of the shots fired (and still being fired) at the aberrant white-supremacy dream that is American reality.
  48. hap
    come to pass
    TRAVIS takes the money hap- pily) TRAVIS Thanks, Daddy.
  49. flu
    an acute febrile highly contagious viral disease
    I'll just call her up and say you got the flu RUTH (Laughing) Why the flu?
  50. liberate
    grant freedom to; free from confinement
    Part militant, part dilletante, " liberated" woman, little girl, she questions everything and dreams of service to humanity, an identity beyond self and family in the liberation struggles of her people.
  51. clinically
    in a clinical manner
    WALTER (Pushing the paper across the table to her as he studies her almost clinically, as though he has never seen her before) You a horrible-looking chick at this hour. 36 A RAISIN IN THE SUN BENEATHA (Drily) Good morning, everybody.
  52. expertly
    in an expert manner
    Not since Theodore Ward's Big White Fog (1938) has there been a play so thoroughly and expertly reflective of class struggle within a black family.
  53. sexism
    discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of the opposite sex
    If we opponents of racism, sexism, and the degeneracies of capitalism today were to write Richard the Nix and Ronnie the Rex, we would not be called the Bard's heirs, although it is the bourgeoisie who came to shower celebration on Shakespeare now they provide sterile, dead productions to hide the real texts.
  54. inappropriately
    in an inappropriate manner
    As they work, the radio is on and a Southside disk-jockey pro- gram is inappropriately filling the house with a rather exotic saxophone blues.
  55. pollock
    important food and game fish of northern seas (especially the northern Atlantic); related to cod
    This is why one expects to see more Pollocks in the banks than Orozcos or Riveras or John Biggers or Jake Lawrences.
  56. stare
    look at with fixed eyes
    WALTER stands and stares back at her with defiance, and suddenly reaches into his pocket again on an afterthought) WALTER (Without even looking at his son, still staring hard at his wife) In fact, here's another fifty cents .
  57. segregate
    divide from the main body or mass and collect
    In February 1960, black students at North Carolina A & T began to "sit in" at Woolworth's in a more forceful attack on segregated public facilities.
  58. mood
    a characteristic (habitual or relatively temporary) state of feeling
    (The boy finally turns around and rolls his eyes at her, knowing the mood has changed and he is vindicated; he does not, however, move toward her yet) Not for nothing in this world!
  59. reflective
    capable of physically reflecting light or sound
    Not since Theodore Ward's Big White Fog (1938) has there been a play so thoroughly and expertly reflective of class struggle within a black family.
  60. montage
    a paste-up made by sticking together pieces of paper or photographs to form an artistic image
    It was the "explosion" Langston Hughes talked about in his great poem "Harlem" centerpiece of his incomparable 16 A RAISIN IN THE SUN Montage of a Dream Deferred, from which the play's title was taken and it informs the play as its twinned projec- tion: dream or coming reality.
  61. lean
    to incline or bend from a vertical position
    He is a lean, intense young man in his middle thirties, inclined to quick nervous movements and erratic speech habits and always in his voice there is a quality of indictment) WALTER Is he out yet?
  62. checking account
    a bank account against which the depositor can draw checks that are payable on demand
    The rest you put in a checking account with your name on it.
  63. understanding
    the cognitive condition of someone who understands
    All of Raisin's characters speak to the text and are critical to its dramatic tensions and understanding.
  64. quizzical
    perplexed (as if being expected to know something that you do not know)
    You see, Mr. Asagai, I am looking for my identity! 9 ' (He laughs) BENEATHA (Turning to him, not laughing) Yes (Her face is quizzical, profoundly disturbed) 62 A RAISIN IN THE SUN ASAGAI (Still teasing and reaching out and taking her face in his hands and turning her profile to him) Well . . . it is true that this is not so much a profile of a Holly- wood queen as perhaps a queen of the Nile (A mock dismissal of the importance of the question) But what does it matter?
  65. chauvinist
    a person with a prejudiced belief in the superiority of his or her own kind
    They play Walter Lee more aggressively, more self-consciously, so that when he does fall we can actually hate him hate the frivolous, selfish male- chauvinist part of ourselves.
  66. matriarch
    a female head of a family or tribe
    The role itself of family head, folksy counsel, up- holder of tradition has caused many people to see her as the stereotyped "black matriarch" of establishment and commercial sociological fame.
  67. defer
    yield to another's wish or opinion
    A RAISIN IN THE SUN To Mama: in gratitude for the dream What happens to a dream deferred?
  68. institutionalized
    given the character of an institution or incorporated into a structured and usually well-established system
    Indeed, her reading has been taken as the model and somewhat institutionalized in various productions I've seen.
  69. dramatic
    pertaining to or characteristic of drama
    Any useful re-appreciation 9 10 A RAISIN IN THE SUN of it cannot be limited, therefore, to the passages restored or the new values discovered, important though these are: it is the play itself, as a dramatic (and sociopolitical) whole, that demands our confirmation of its grandeur.
  70. dance
    taking a series of rhythmical steps (and movements) in time to music
    She begins to dance.
  71. sharecropper
    small farmers and tenants
    MAMA Son I come from five generations of people who was slaves and sharecroppers but ain't nobody in my family never let nobody pay 'em no money that was a way of telling us we wasn't fit to walk the earth.
  72. blues
    a state of depression
    The next two explosions in black drama, Baldwin's Blues for Mr. Charlie and my own Dutchman (both 1964) raise up the militance and self-defense clamor of the movement as it came fully into the Malcolm era: Jimmy by constructing a debate between King (Meridian) and Richard (Malcolm) , and I by having Clay openly advocate armed resistance.
  73. enunciate
    express or state clearly
    ( Enunciating precisely but soundlessly: "There's a white man at the doorr They stop dancing, RUTH cuts off the phonograph, BENEATHA opens the door.
  74. civil right
    right or rights belonging to a person by reason of citizenship including especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th amendments and subsequent acts of Congress including the right to legal and social and economic equality
    When Raisin first appeared in 1959, the Civil Rights Movement was in its earlier stages.
  75. sweet potato
    pantropical vine widely cultivated in several varieties for its large sweet tuberous root with orange flesh
    MAMA Ruth, give Mis' Johnson a piece of sweet potato pie and some milk.
  76. Martin Luther King
    United States charismatic civil rights leader and Baptist minister who campaigned against the segregation of Blacks (1929-1968)
    A writer of un- limited compassion, Miss Hansberry believed that all people must be measured, as she put it, by both their "hills and valleys. 9 * Miss Hansberry, who died of cancer at the age of 34 in 1965, wrote Raisin well before the marches on Washing- ton, the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the inner-city explosions.
  77. phonograph record
    sound recording consisting of a disk with a continuous groove; used to reproduce music by rotating while a phonograph needle tracks in the groove
    He puts his package in a corner and puts a phonograph record, which he has brought in with him, on the record player.
  78. fingering
    the placement of the fingers for playing different notes (or sequences of notes) on a musical instrument
    RUTH Walter honey, be glad MAMA (Still to his back, fingering things on the table) 'Course I don't want to make it sound fancier than it is ...
  79. drama
    a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage
    Miss Hansberry works within the confines of what might be called a kitchen-sink drama, set in a cramped, tri-generational household on the South Side in the 1950s.
  80. incline
    lower or bend (the head or upper body), as in a nod or bow
    He is a lean, intense young man in his middle thirties, inclined to quick nervous movements and erratic speech habits and always in his voice there is a quality of indictment) WALTER Is he out yet?
  81. Bantu
    of or relating to the African people who speak one of the Bantoid languages or to their culture
    In one second we will hear all about the great Ashanti empires; the great Songhay civilizations; and the great sculpture of B6nin and then some poetry in the Bantu and the whole monologue will end with the word heritage!
  82. mimic
    imitate (a person or manner), especially for satirical effect
    RUTH ( Mimicking) Aw gaaaaalleeeee, Mama!
  83. greening
    the phenomenon of vitality and freshness being restored
    When Mama Lena and Beneatha are felled by news of Walter Lee's weakness and dishonesty, their life's w ill the desired greening of their humanity is defoliated.
  84. summation
    the arithmetic operation of summing; calculating the sum of two or more numbers
    And the play is also a summation of those shots, that battle, its heightened state- ment.
  85. retrogression
    returning to a former state
    Retrogression even.
  86. proud
    feeling self-respect or pleasure in something by which you measure your self-worth; or being a reason for pride
    Her Lena is a woman, black, poor, struggle-worn but proud and loving.
  87. posed
    arranged for pictorial purposes
    And she posed all her concerns in a work that portrayed a black family with a greater realism and complexity than had ever been previously seen on an American stage.
  88. slur
    utter indistinctly
    Her speech is a mixture of many things; it is different from the rest of the family's insofar as education has per- meated her sense of English and perhaps the Midwest rather than the South has finally at last won out in her inflection; but not altogether, be- cause over all of it is a soft slurring and trans- formed use of vowels which is the decided influ- ence of the Southside.
  89. finality
    the quality of being final or definitely settled
    (She pushes him, with rough playfulness and finality, toward the door) Get on out of here or you going to be late.
  90. realism
    the attribute of accepting the facts of life and favoring practicality and literal truth
    And she posed all her concerns in a work that portrayed a black family with a greater realism and complexity than had ever been previously seen on an American stage.
  91. raise
    move upwards
    Throughout the work, Hansberry addresses herself to issues that the very young might feel only The Color Purple has raised.
  92. guy
    an informal term for a youth or man
    Ah-sah- guy .
  93. evocative
    serving to bring to mind
    What is most telling about our igno- rance is that Hansberry's play still remains overwhelmingly popular and evocative of black and white reality, and the masses of black people dug it true.
  94. liberated
    free from traditional social restraints
    Part militant, part dilletante, " liberated" woman, little girl, she questions everything and dreams of service to humanity, an identity beyond self and family in the liberation struggles of her people.
  95. spear
    a long pointed rod used as a tool or weapon
    (Shouting and thumping his chest) FLAM- ING SPEAR!
  96. sax
    a single-reed woodwind with a conical bore
    WALTER You know what I like about the Green Hat? I like this little cat they got there who blows a sax .
  97. submerge
    put under water
    BENEATHA (Cutting GEORGE off and staring at him as she replies to RUTH) It means someone who is willing to give up his own culture and submerge himself com- pletely in the dominant, and in this case oppressive culture!
  98. liberation
    the act of liberating someone or something
    Yet, with remark- able prescience, she saw history whole: Her play encom- passes everything from the rise of black nationalism in the United States and Africa to the advent of black militancy to the specific dimensions of the black woman's liberation movement.
  99. saxophone
    a single-reed woodwind with a conical bore
    As they work, the radio is on and a Southside disk-jockey pro- gram is inappropriately filling the house with a rather exotic saxophone blues.
  100. monologue
    a (usually long) dramatic speech by a single actor
    In one second we will hear all about the great Ashanti empires; the great Songhay civilizations; and the great sculpture of B6nin and then some poetry in the Bantu and the whole monologue will end with the word heritage!
  101. chilly
    appreciably or disagreeably cold
    Looks chilly out this morning.
  102. savings account
    a bank account that accumulates interest
    Monday morning A RAISIN IN THE SUN 107 I want you to take this money and take three thousand dollars and put it in a savings account for Beneatha's medical schooling.
  103. emerge
    come out into view, as from concealment
    George Thompson in Poetry and Marxism points out that drama is the most expressive artistic form to emerge out of great social transformation.
  104. frown
    a facial expression of dislike or displeasure
    RUTH ( With a frown ) Bobo?
  105. clarity
    free from obscurity and easy to understand; the comprehensibility of clear expression
    It dealt with them with an unabating dramatic force, vision, political concreteness and clarity that, in retrospect, are awesome.
  106. spray
    water in small drops in the atmosphere; blown from waves or thrown up by a waterfall
    BENEATHA, in dun- garees, with a handkerchief tied around her face, is spraying insecticide into the cracks in the walls.
  107. grapple
    come to terms with
    Hansberry has Beneatha grappling with key contro- versies of the period, but also some that had yet to clearly surface.
  108. supermarket
    a large self-service grocery store selling groceries and dairy products and household goods
    They are both quiet and tense for several seconds) A RAISIN IN THE SUN 29 TRAVIS (Presently) Could I maybe go carry some gro- ceries in front of the supermarket for a little while after school then?
  109. straddle
    sit or stand astride of
    (He finds a beer in the refrigerator, wanders over to MURCHISON, sipping and wiping his lips with 84 A RAISIN IN THE SUN the back of his hand, and straddling a chair back- wards to talk to the other man) Shrewd move.
  110. outmoded
    out of fashion
    Alaiyo: Perhaps the things I believe now for my country will be wrong and outmoded, and I will not understand and do terrible things to have things my way or merely to keep my power.
  111. middle class
    the social class between the lower and upper classes
    We thought her play " middle class" in that its focus seemed to be on "moving into white folks' neighborhoods," when most blacks were just trying to pay their rent in ghetto shacks.
  112. combo
    a small band of jazz musicians
    They got the best little combo in the world in the Green Hat .
  113. wiggle
    move to and fro
    He is singing and wiggling and snapping his fingers.
  114. appreciate
    be fully aware of; realize fully
    The truth is that Hansberry's dramatic skills have yet to be properly appreciated and not just by those guardians of the status quo who pass themselves off as dramatic critics.
  115. cereal
    grass whose starchy grains are used as food: wheat; rice; rye; oats; maize; buckwheat; millet
    (Travis jabs his spoon into his cereal bowl viciously, and rests his head in anger upon his fists) If you through eating, you can get over there and make up your bed.
  116. entrepreneur
    someone who organizes a business venture and assumes the risk for it
    Entrepreneur!
  117. struggle
    strenuous effort
    And as a document reflecting the essence of those struggles, the play is un- excelled.
  118. refrigerator
    white goods in which food can be stored at low temperatures
    (He finds a beer in the refrigerator, wanders over to MURCHISON, sipping and wiping his lips with 84 A RAISIN IN THE SUN the back of his hand, and straddling a chair back- wards to talk to the other man) Shrewd move.
  119. first person
    pronouns and verbs used to refer to the speaker or writer of the language in which they occur
    (With her fingers practically up to her nos- trils} And I'm going to get in it and I am going to sit ... and sit ... and sit in that hot water and the first person who knocks to tell me to hurry up and come out BENEATHA Gets shot at sunrise.
  120. gesture
    motion of hands or body to emphasize or help to express a thought or feeling
    (Reaching down into his pants with a rather important gesture) Here, son (He hands the boy the coin, but his eyes are di- rected to his wife's.
  121. matte
    not reflecting light; not glossy
    WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU? BOBO Man ...
  122. confuse
    mistake one thing for another
    "I got me a dream," says Walter early in the play but his dream is not to be confused with Dr. King's.
  123. negatively
    in a harmful manner
    ASAGAI (Shaking his head negatively but gently) No. Between a man and a woman there need be only one kind of feeling.
  124. medical school
    a graduate school offering study leading to a medical degree
    Beneatha dreams of medical school.
  125. prescience
    the power to foresee the future
    Yet, with remark- able prescience, she saw history whole: Her play encom- passes everything from the rise of black nationalism in the United States and Africa to the advent of black militancy to the specific dimensions of the black woman's liberation movement.
  126. exuberant
    joyously unrestrained
    All I can say is if this is my time in life MY TIME to say good-bye (And she builds with momentum as she starts to circle the room with an exuberant, almost tearfully happy release) to these Goddamned cracking walls!
  127. investing
    the act of investing; laying out money or capital in an enterprise with the expectation of profit
    Walter Lee done finally sold you on investing.
  128. topical
    pertaining to the surface of a body part
    But any attempt to con- fine the play to an era, a mind-set, an issue ("Housing") or set of topical concerns was, as we now see, a mistake.
  129. feminism
    a doctrine that advocates equal rights for women
    This is also why Shake- A RAISIN IN THE SUN 11 speare deals with race (Othello), anti-Semitism (The Merchant of Venice), and feminism (The Taming of the Shrew) ; because these will be the continuing dilemmas of the bourgeois epoch!
  130. dissected
    having one or more incisions reaching nearly to the midrib
    (Looking up at him) I dissected something that looked just like you yes- terday.
  131. ani
    black tropical American cuckoo
    They bring a contemporary flavoring to the work that consists of knowing with more certainty than, say, Sidney Poitier could have in the original the frustration and rage ani- mating the healthy black male, post-civil rights era.
  132. disheveled
    in disarray; extremely disorderly
    She wipes her face with a moist cloth and runs her fingers through her sleep- disheveled hair in a vain effort and ties an apron around her housecoat.
  133. appreciation
    understanding of the nature or meaning or quality or magnitude of something
    Langston Hughes An Appreciation: A RAISIN IN THE SUN THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY By Frank Rich Chicago It was 25 years ago that a 28-year-old black woman from this city changed American theater forever with her first produced play.
  134. human race
    all of the living human inhabitants of the earth
    It's just that I get tired of Him get- ting credit for all the things the human race achieves through its own stubborn effort.
  135. pock
    mark with a scar
    WALTER sits down and grasps it close and counts off the zeros) Ten thou- sand dollars (He turns suddenly, frantically to his mother and draws some papers out of his breast pock- et) Mama look.
  136. melodrama
    an extravagant comedy in which action is more salient than characterization
    For Scott has dug beneath the easy mis-seeing of the work as "soap opera," "stereotype," "well-made melodrama," and given us the emotional depths of these real people.
  137. cockroach
    any of numerous chiefly nocturnal insects; some are domestic pests
    She screams) Leave them poor little cockroaches alone, they ain't bothering you none!
  138. sprinkle
    scatter with liquid; wet lightly
    (She rises and gets the ironing board and sets it A RAISIN IN THE SUN 55 up and attacks a huge pile of rough-dried clothes, sprinkling them in preparation for the ironing and then rolling them into tight fat balls) WALTER (Mumbling) We one group of men tied to a race of women with small minds!
  139. penicillin
    any of various antibiotics obtained from Penicillium molds (or produced synthetically) and used in the treatment of various infections and diseases
    Cure the Great Sore of Colonialism (Loft- ily, mocking it) with the Penicillin of Independence !
  140. flit
    move along rapidly and lightly; skim or dart
    MAMA (To BENEATHA) Why you got to flit so from one thing to another, baby?
  141. invest
    make an investment
    Picking on me is not going to make her give it to you to invest in any liquor stores (Underbreath, dropping into a chair) and I for one say, God bless Mama for that!
  142. depress
    press down
    And here a table or a chair has been moved to disguise the worn places in the carpet; but the carpet has fought back by showing its weariness, with depressing uniformity, elsewhere on its surface.
  143. nonplus
    be a mystery or bewildering to
    JOHNSON ( Nonplussed) You know, me and you ain't never agreed about some things, Lena Younger.
  144. analyze
    break down into components or essential features
    That is, she analyzes and assesses reality and shapes her statement as an aesthe- tically powerful and politically advanced work of art.
  145. store
    a mercantile establishment for the retail sale of goods or services
    But Miss Hansberry's real drama is the battle for the soul and identity of Walter Lee Younger, the family's son, Walter, 35, is a chauffeur who wants to get rich by open- ing a liquor store.
  146. bestial
    resembling a beast; showing lack of human sensibility
    The mad Macbeths, bestial Richard Ill's, and other feudal worthies are actually shown, like the whole class, as degenerate and degenerating.
  147. petty
    (informal) small and of little importance
    On one level Walter Lee is merely aspiring to full and acknowl- edged humanity; on another level he yearns to strut his "manhood," a predictable mix of machismo and fantasy. 14 A RAISIN IN THE SUN But Hansberry takes it even further to show us that on still another level Walter Lee, worker though he be, has the "realizable" dream of the black petty bourgeoisie.
  148. hoodlum
    an aggressive and violent young criminal
    Walter Lee, fix your tie and tuck your shirt in, you look like somebody's hoodlum!
  149. pearl
    a smooth lustrous round structure inside the shell of a clam or oyster; much valued as a jewel
    RUTH ( Pearl Bailey) What kind of folks do that, honey?
  150. identity
    the individual characteristics by which a thing or person is recognized or known
    But Miss Hansberry's real drama is the battle for the soul and identity of Walter Lee Younger, the family's son, Walter, 35, is a chauffeur who wants to get rich by open- ing a liquor store.
  151. meddle
    intrude in other people's affairs or business; interfere unwantedly
    MAMA I ain't meddling (Underbreath; busy-bodyish) I just noticed all last week he had cold cereal, and when it starts getting this chilly in the fall a child ought to have some hot grits or something when he goes out in the cold A RAISIN IN THE SUN 41 RUTH (Furious) I gave him hot oats is that all right!
  152. semester
    one of two divisions of an academic year
    WALTER It ain't that nobody expects you to get on your knees and say thank you, Brother; thank you, Ruth; thank you, Mama and thank you, Travis, for wearing the same pair of shoes for two semesters BENEATHA (Dropping to her knees) Well I do all right? thank everybody!
  153. reflector
    device that reflects radiation
    And by this time, too, Malcolm X, "the fire prophet," had emerged as the truest reflector of black mass feelings.
  154. theater
    a building where theatrical performances or motion-picture shows can be presented
    Langston Hughes An Appreciation: A RAISIN IN THE SUN THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY By Frank Rich Chicago It was 25 years ago that a 28-year-old black woman from this city changed American theater forever with her first produced play.
  155. totality
    the state of being total and complete
    Her statement cannot be separated from the characters she creates to embody, in their totality, the life she observes: it becomes, in short, the living material of the work, part of its breathing body, integral and alive.
  156. fumble
    feel about uncertainly or blindly
    He fumbles with his cap, starts to speak, clears throat, looks everywhere but at RUTH.
  157. fancier
    a person having a strong liking for something
    RUTH Walter honey, be glad MAMA (Still to his back, fingering things on the table) 'Course I don't want to make it sound fancier than it is ...
  158. offhand
    with little or no preparation or forethought
    GEORGE ( Offhand) Few times a year.
  159. plenty
    a full supply
    God knows there was plenty wrong with Walter Younger hard-headed, mean, kind of wild with women plenty wrong with him.
  160. migrate
    move from one country or region to another and settle there
    And she always saw the present and future in the light of the past clear back to the slavery of the Old 8 A RAISIN IN THE SUN South and the new slavery that followed for black workers who migrated to the industrial ghettos of the North.
  161. wander
    to move or cause to move in a sinuous, spiral, or circular course
    He ain't hardly got in there good yet. 26 A RAISIN IN THE SUN WALTER ( Wandering in, still more oriented to sleep than to a new day) Well, what was you doing all that yelling for if I can't even get in there yet?
  162. community
    a group of people living in a particular local area
    (He is a gentle man; thoughtful and somewhat labored in his manner) It is one of these community organizations set up to look after oh, you know, things like block upkeep and special projects and we also have what we call our New Neighbors Orien- tation Committee .
  163. artifact
    a man-made object taken as a whole
    She is no quaint, folksy artifact; she is truth, history, love and struggle as they can be manifest only in real life.
  164. sullen
    showing a brooding ill humor
    TRAVIS (With sullen politeness) Yes'm.
  165. degenerate
    a person whose behavior deviates from what is acceptable especially in sexual behavior
    The mad Macbeths, bestial Richard Ill's, and other feudal worthies are actually shown, like the whole class, as degenerate and degenerating.
  166. penetrate
    pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance
    We thought Hansberry's play was part of the "passive resistance" phase of the movement, which was over the minute Malcolm's penetrating eyes and words began to charge through the media with deadly force.
  167. Marxism
    the economic and political theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that hold that human actions and institutions are economically determined and that class struggle is needed to create historical change and that capitalism will ultimately be superseded by communism
    George Thompson in Poetry and Marxism points out that drama is the most expressive artistic form to emerge out of great social transformation.
  168. chuckle
    a soft partly suppressed laugh
    ( Chuckling a little) A RAISIN IN THE SUN 45 Looks right dumpy today.
  169. prepare
    make ready or suitable or equip in advance for a particular purpose or for some use, event, etc
    Moreover, a section of this room, for it is not really a room unto itself, though the landlord's lease would make it seem so, slopes backward to provide a small kitchen area, where the family prepares the meals that are eaten in the living room proper, which must also serve as dining room.
  170. contentious
    inclined or showing an inclination to dispute or disagree, even to engage in law suits
    What makes Raisin so mov- ing is that Walter finally does rise above his misplaced values to find a new dignity and moral courage and that he does so with the support of his contentious but always loving family.
  171. blackout
    darkness resulting from the extinction of lights (as in a city invisible to enemy aircraft)
    (WALTER'S voice has risen in pitch and hysterical promise and on the last line he lifts TRAVIS high) ( Blackout) SCENE THREE Time: Saturday, moving day, one week later.
  172. mock
    treat with contempt
    Without quite realizing it, he oppresses his wife, Ruth, a domestic, and mocks the ambitions of his 20-year-old sister, Beneatha, a fledgling activist and med- ical student.
  173. vacuum
    an empty area or space
    (BENEATHA comes in, brushing her hair and look- ing up to the ceiling, where the sound of a vacuum cleaner has started up) BENEATHA What could be so dirty on that woman's rugs that she has to vacuum them every single day?
  174. evaluation
    act of ascertaining or fixing the value or worth of
    The New York Times Octobers, 1983 A Critical Re evaluation : A RAISIN IN THE SUN'S ENDURING PASSION By AmmBaraka In the wake of its twenty-fifth anniversary, Lorraine Hansberry's great play A Raisin in the Sun is enjoying a revival of a most encouraging kind.
  175. feudalism
    the social system that developed in Europe in the 8th century; vassals were protected by lords who they had to serve in war
    Shakespeare is the artist of the destruction of feudalism and the emergence of capital- ism.
  176. sociological
    of or relating to or determined by sociology
    The role itself of family head, folksy counsel, up- holder of tradition has caused many people to see her as the stereotyped "black matriarch" of establishment and commercial sociological fame.
  177. inspect
    look over carefully
    RUTH (Looking up from the stove to inspect him auto- matically) Come here.
  178. embrace
    squeeze (someone) tightly in your arms, usually with fondness
    He crosses to her and allows her to embrace him warmly but keeps his face fixed with masculine rigidity.
  179. wing
    a movable organ for flying (one of a pair)
    It is the inner WALTER speaking: the Southside chauffeur has assumed an unexpected majesty ) WALTER Do you hear the beating of the wings of the birds flying low over the mountains and the low places of our land BENEATHA OCOMOGOSIAY!
  180. dynamics
    the branch of mechanics concerned with the forces that cause motions of bodies
    But that's not reality either, though his discussion of the dynamics and dialectics of revolution and of the continuity of human struggle, the only means of progress still rings with truth!
  181. shrew
    small mouselike mammal with a long snout; related to moles
    This is also why Shake- A RAISIN IN THE SUN 11 speare deals with race (Othello), anti-Semitism (The Merchant of Venice), and feminism (The Taming of the Shrew) ; because these will be the continuing dilemmas of the bourgeois epoch!
  182. era
    a period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event
    But any attempt to con- fine the play to an era, a mind-set, an issue ("Housing") or set of topical concerns was, as we now see, a mistake.
  183. outrage
    a disgraceful event
    TRAVIS ( Outraged) Gaaaleee!
  184. traction
    the friction between a body and the surface on which it moves (as between an automobile tire and the road)
    In spite of all the other conversations and dis- tractions of the morning, this is what they have been waiting for, even TRAVIS, who looks help- lessly from his mother to his grandmother.
  185. mope
    be apathetic, gloomy, or dazed
    (A false cheerfulness, a beginning of something) I guess we all better stop moping around and get some work done.
  186. lightweight
    weighing relatively little compared with another item or object of similar use
    The social materials that Hansberry so brilliantly shaped into drama are not lightweight.
  187. assimilate
    make similar
    An exception is George Murchison (merchant's son) , the " assimilated" good bourgeois whose boldest dream, if one can call it that, is to "get the grades ... to pass the course ... to get a degree" en route to making it the American way.
  188. husband
    a married man; a woman's partner in marriage
    And as such this is the completion of a dream she and her late husband who has literally, like the slaves, been worked to death conceived together.
  189. license
    a legal document giving official permission to do something
    Course, there's a couple of hundred you got to pay so's you don't spend your life just waiting for them clowns to let your license get approved RUTH You mean graft?
  190. dialogue
    a conversation between two persons
    Dialogue be- tween Beneatha and her mother, brother, Asagai and George Murchison digs into all these still-burning concerns.
  191. stereo
    reproducer in which two microphones feed two or more loudspeakers to give a three-dimensional effect to the sound
    Carrying with them (or rebelling against) the preconceived baggage of that stereo- type, and recalling the play through the haze of memory (or from the compromised movie version), they have not bothered to look more closely at the actual woman Hans- berry created and at what tradition she in fact upholds.
  192. strident
    unpleasantly loud and harsh
    Before the curtain rises, RUTH'S voice, a strident, dra- matic church alto, cuts through the silence.
  193. proletarian
    belonging to or characteristic of the proletariat
    Seeing Raisin again, one is struck by how much Miss Hansberry's pro- tagonist resembles those of other Chicago writers, from Dreiser's Sister Carrie to David Mamet's proletarian schemer in American Buffalo.
  194. accommodate
    have room for; hold without crowding
    Its furnish- ings 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.
  195. dialectic
    a contradiction of ideas that serves as the determining factor in their interaction
    But that's not reality either, though his discussion of the dynamics and dialectics of revolution and of the continuity of human struggle, the only means of progress still rings with truth!
  196. raucous
    unpleasantly loud and harsh
    BENEATHA (Angrily) Me! (MAMA and RUTH look at each other and burst into raucous laughter) Don't worry I don't expect you to understand.
  197. aberration
    a state or condition markedly different from the norm
    Formalist artists must resort to all kinds of superficial aberrations of form because usually they have nothing to say.
  198. fledgling
    young bird that has just fledged or become capable of flying
    Without quite realizing it, he oppresses his wife, Ruth, a domestic, and mocks the ambitions of his 20-year-old sister, Beneatha, a fledgling activist and med- ical student.
  199. radiance
    an attractive combination of good health and happiness
    MAMA (Frightened at this telling) Well well it's out there in Clybourne Park (RUTH'S radiance jades abruptly, and WALTER finally turns slowly to face his mother with incre- dulity and hostility) A RAISIN IN THE SUN 93 RUTH Where?
  200. agitate
    move or cause to move back and forth
    The word "Man" has penetrated his consciousness; he mumbles it to himself repeatedly between strange agitated pauses as he moves about) 144 A RAISIN IN THE SUN MAMA Baby, how you going to feel on the inside?
  201. text
    the words of something written
    Complete with restora- tions to the text of scenes and passages removed from the first production, the work is currently being given a new direction and interpretation that reveal even more clearly the play's profoundly imposing stature, continuing rel- evance, and pointed social analysis.
  202. holster
    a sheath (usually leather) for carrying a handgun
    WALTER (Coming in from the bathroom and drawing a make-believe gun from a make-believe holster and shooting at his son) What is it he wants to do?
  203. pose
    assume a posture as for artistic purposes
    And she posed all her concerns in a work that portrayed a black family with a greater realism and complexity than had ever been previously seen on an American stage.
  204. react
    show a response or a reaction to something
    (There is silence following the remark as the three women react to the sense of it) Gee I didn't mean that, Ruth, honest.
  205. frustrate
    hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of
    LINDNER (More frustrated than annoyed) No, thank you very much.
  206. circle
    ellipse in which the two axes are of equal length; a plane curve generated by one point moving at a constant distance from a fixed point
    It has broken or approached long-standing box office records and has been properly hailed as "a classic," while the Washington Post has called it succinctly: "one of the handful of great American dramas ... in the inner circle, along with Death of a Salesman, Long Day's Journey into Night, and The Glass Menagerie" For a playwright who knows, too well, the vagaries and realities of American theater, this assessment is gratifying.
  207. rigidity
    the physical property of being stiff and resisting bending
    He crosses to her and allows her to embrace him warmly but keeps his face fixed with masculine rigidity.
  208. collegiate
    of or resembling or typical of a college or college students
    She is, on the one hand, secure in the collegiate world of "ideas" and elitism, above the mass; on the other, undeceived by the myths and symbols of class and status.
  209. box office
    the office where tickets of admission are sold
    It has broken or approached long-standing box office records and has been properly hailed as "a classic," while the Washington Post has called it succinctly: "one of the handful of great American dramas ... in the inner circle, along with Death of a Salesman, Long Day's Journey into Night, and The Glass Menagerie" For a playwright who knows, too well, the vagaries and realities of American theater, this assessment is gratifying.
  210. neurotic
    characteristic of or affected by neurosis
    Brother isn't really crazy yet he he's an elaborate neurotic.
  211. shallow
    lacking physical depth; having little spatial extension downward or inward from an outer surface or backward or outward from a center
    He's he's so shallow.
  212. drumming
    the act of playing drums
    MAMA ( Drumming her fingers) Far as I could make out to Egypt.
  213. attainable
    capable of being attained or accomplished
    Her aspiration is less caustic, more attainable than Walter's.
  214. fascism
    a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism)
    But they are kept ignorant enough not to understand that the real dimensions A RAISIN IN THE SUN 17 of that dream white supremacy, black "inferiority," and with them ultimately, though they know it not, fascism and war are revealed every day throughout the world as deadly to human life and development even their own.
  215. menagerie
    a collection of live animals for study or display
    It has broken or approached long-standing box office records and has been properly hailed as "a classic," while the Washington Post has called it succinctly: "one of the handful of great American dramas ... in the inner circle, along with Death of a Salesman, Long Day's Journey into Night, and The Glass Menagerie" For a playwright who knows, too well, the vagaries and realities of American theater, this assessment is gratifying.
  216. white paper
    a government report; bound in white
    (WALTER finds what he is looking for a small piece of white paper and pushes it in his pocket and puts on his coat and rushes out without ever having looked at her.
  217. ail
    be ill or unwell
    ASAGAI Why? BENEATHA (Bitterly) Because it doesn't seem deep enough, close enough to what ails mankind!
  218. production
    the act or process of producing something
    Complete with restora- tions to the text of scenes and passages removed from the first production, the work is currently being given a new direction and interpretation that reveal even more clearly the play's profoundly imposing stature, continuing rel- evance, and pointed social analysis.
  219. operate
    perform as expected when applied
    He dances with RUTH some more and starts to laugh and stops and pantomimes someone over an operating table) I can just see that chick someday looking down at some poor cat on an operating table and before she starts to slice him, she says .
  220. militant
    engaged in war
    Part militant, part dilletante, "liberated" woman, little girl, she questions everything and dreams of service to humanity, an identity beyond self and family in the liberation struggles of her people.
  221. clutch
    take hold of; grab
    She sets the headdress on haphazardly and then notices her hair again and clutches at it and then replaces the headdress and frowns at herself.
  222. infantile
    of or relating to infants or infancy
    But it dealt with them not as abstractions, fit only for infantile-left pamphlets, but as they are lived.
  223. trill
    a note that alternates rapidly with another note a semitone above it
    (With a trill) 'Night. 104 A RAISIN IN THE SUN MAMA Good night, Mis' Johnson.
  224. evening
    the latter part of the day (the period of decreasing daylight from late afternoon until nightfall)
    RUTH Honey, it's starting to get so cold evenings.
  225. relax
    make less taut
    MAMA (Working her fingers in RUTH'S shoulders to relax her) She be all right.
  226. plain
    not elaborate or elaborated; simple
    We just plain working folks.
  227. emergence
    the act of emerging
    Shakespeare is the artist of the destruction of feudalism and the emergence of capital- ism.
  228. grovel
    show submission or fear
    (He does so; RUTH and BENNIE and MAMA watch him in frozen horror) "Cap- tain, Mistuh, Bossman ( Groveling and grinning and wringing his hands in profoundly anguished imitation of the slow-witted movie stereotype) A-hee-hee-hee!
  229. ornate
    marked by complexity and richness of detail
    BENEATHA (Emerging grandly from the doorway so that we can see her thoroughly robed in the costume Asagai brought) You are looking at what a well-dressed Ni- gerian woman wears (She parades for RUTH, her hair completely hidden by the headdress; she is coquettish- ly fanning herself with an ornate oriental fan, mistak- enly more like Butterfly than any Nigerian that ever was) Isn't it beautiful?
  230. elaborate
    marked by complexity and richness of detail
    Brother isn't really crazy yet he he's an elaborate neurotic.
  231. convertible
    designed to be changed from one use or form to another
    Rich people don't have to be flashy . . . though I'll have to get something a little sportier for Ruth maybe a Cadillac convertible to do her shopping in.
  232. area
    the extent of a 2-dimensional surface enclosed within a boundary
    Moreover, a section of this room, for it is not really a room unto itself, though the landlord's lease would make it seem so, slopes backward to provide a small kitchen area, where the family prepares the meals that are eaten in the living room proper, which must also serve as dining room.
  233. aspirant
    an ambitious and aspiring young person
    She is already so- cially mobile, finding a place, as her family cannot, among other petty bourgeois aspirants on the rungs of "education," where their hard work has put her.
  234. eccentric
    conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual
    If he's ashamed of his heritage GEORGE Oh, don't be so proud of yourself, Bennie just because you look eccentric.
  235. zero
    a mathematical element that when added to another number yields the same number
    (She is counting off with doubt) Is that the right number of zeros.
  236. vagary
    an unexpected and inexplicable change in something (in a situation or a person's behavior, etc.)
    It has broken or approached long-standing box office records and has been properly hailed as "a classic," while the Washington Post has called it succinctly: "one of the handful of great American dramas ... in the inner circle, along with Death of a Salesman, Long Day's Journey into Night, and The Glass Menagerie" For a playwright who knows, too well, the vagaries and realities of American theater, this assessment is gratifying.
  237. predictable
    capable of being foretold
    On one level Walter Lee is merely aspiring to full and acknowl- edged humanity; on another level he yearns to strut his "manhood," a predictable mix of machismo and fantasy. 14 A RAISIN IN THE SUN But Hansberry takes it even further to show us that on still another level Walter Lee, worker though he be, has the "realizable" dream of the black petty bourgeoisie.
  238. theorist
    someone who theorizes (especially in science or art)
    For black theater artists and would-be theorists especially, this is ironic because the play is probably the most widely appreciated particularly by African Americans black drama that we have.
  239. ovation
    enthusiastic recognition (especially one accompanied by loud applause)
    At major regional theaters in city after city Raisin has played to packed houses and, as on the night I saw it, standing ovations.
  240. impede
    be a hindrance or obstacle to
    She asked blacks to reconsider how those dreams might be defined; she demanded that whites not impede the fulfill- ment of those dreams for one more second.
  241. alto
    the lowest female singing voice
    Before the curtain rises, RUTH'S voice, a strident, dra- matic church alto, cuts through the silence.
  242. Sunday school
    school meeting on Sundays for religious instruction
    Birming- ham, when black Walters and Ruths struck back with ice- picks and clubs in response to the bombing of a black church and the killing of four little girls in Sunday school.
  243. residential
    of or relating to or connected with residence
    (He slides the briefcase and hat under the chair) And as I was saying I am from the Clybourne Park Improvement Association and we have had it brought to our attention at the last meet- ing that you people or at least your mother has bought a piece of residential property at (He digs for the slip of paper again) four o six Clybourne Street .
  244. rotten
    having decayed or disintegrated; usually implies foulness
    Does it stink like rotten meat?
  245. create
    bring into existence
    Her statement cannot be separated from the characters she creates to embody, in their totality, the life she observes: it becomes, in short, the living material of the work, part of its breathing body, integral and alive.
  246. civil
    of or occurring within the state or between or among citizens of the state
    When Raisin first appeared in 1959, the Civil Rights Movement was in its earlier stages.
  247. rebuff
    a deliberate discourteous act (usually as an expression of anger or disapproval)
    As for myself, I want a nice (Groping) simple (Thoughtfully) sophisticated girl . . . not a poet O.K.? (He starts to kiss her, she rebuffs him again and he jumps up) BENEATHA Why are you angry, George?
  248. relaxing
    affording physical or mental rest
    MAMA (Smiling at him suddenly and relaxing and look- ing him over) How many miles is it from here to where you come from?
  249. cliche
    a trite or obvious remark
    (She smiles happily at this clich6 of cliches) Everybody say it's got to do with them bombs and things they keep setting off.
  250. finale
    the closing section of a musical composition
    And when he stands up at the finale and will not be beaten, we can cry with joy.
  251. category
    a general concept that marks divisions or coordinations in a conceptual scheme
    These are the categories Langston proposes for the dream: Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun?
  252. buckskin
    a soft yellowish suede leather originally from deerskin but now usually from sheepskin
    WALTER (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) Why all you college boys wear them faggoty-looking white shoes?
  253. inclined
    at an angle to the horizontal or vertical position
    He is a lean, intense young man in his middle thirties, inclined to quick nervous movements and erratic speech habits and always in his voice there is a quality of indictment) WALTER Is he out yet?
  254. embody
    represent in bodily form
    Her statement cannot be separated from the characters she creates to embody, in their totality, the life she observes: it becomes, in short, the living material of the work, part of its breathing body, integral and alive.
  255. demonstrate
    give an exhibition of to an interested audience
    All you have to do is just sit down with her when you drinking your coffee one morning and talking 'bout things like you do and (He sits down be- A RAISIN IN THE SUN 33 side her and demonstrates graphically what he thinks her methods and tone should be) you just sip your coffee, see, and say easy like that you been thinking 'bout that deal Walter Lee is so interested in, 'bout the store and all, and sip some more coffee, like what you saying ain't really that important to you And the ...
  256. depressed
    filled with melancholy and despondency
    Women gets right depressed sometimes when they get her way.
  257. sociology
    the study and classification of human societies
    Filling up your heads (Count- ing off on his fingers) with the sociology and the psychology but they teaching you how to be a man?
  258. props
    proper respect
    (She promptly sits down and props her chin on her fist) ASAGAI (Charmed) All right, I shall leave you.
  259. exuberance
    joyful enthusiasm
    His happi- ness is deep in him; he cannot keep still with his new-found exuberance.
  260. role
    the actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group
    The role itself of family head, folksy counsel, up- holder of tradition has caused many people to see her as the stereotyped "black matriarch" of establishment and commercial sociological fame.
  261. prop
    a support placed beneath or against something to keep it from shaking or falling
    RUTH (Struck senseless with the news, in its various de- grees of goodness and trouble, she sits a moment, her fists propping her chin in thought, and then she starts to rise, bringing her fists down with vigor, the radiance spreading from cheek to cheek again) Well well!
  262. gourd
    any vine of the family Cucurbitaceae that bears fruits with hard rinds
    (Coming to her with genuine ro- mantic flippancy) I will show you our mountains and our stars; and give you cool drinks from gourds and teach you the old songs and the ways of our people and, in time, we will pretend that (Very Softly) you have only been away for a day.
  263. fraternal
    like or characteristic of or befitting a brother
    (He extends his hand for the fraternal clasp) GEORGE Black Brother, hell !
  264. destroy
    do away with, cause the destruction or undoing of
    The silence shouts) Your wife A RAISIN IN THE SUN 75 say she going to destroy your child.
  265. dissect
    cut open or cut apart
    (Looking up at him) I dissected something that looked just like you yes- terday.
  266. moment
    an indefinitely short time
    (He turns and faces his wife and watches her a moment at the stove, and then, suddenly) You look young this morning, baby.
  267. oriented
    adjusted or located in relation to surroundings or circumstances; sometimes used in combination
    He ain't hardly got in there good yet. 26 A RAISIN IN THE SUN WALTER (Wandering in, still more oriented to sleep than to a new day) Well, what was you doing all that yelling for if I can't even get in there yet?
  268. define
    show the form or outline of
    She asked blacks to reconsider how those dreams might be defined; she demanded that whites not impede the fulfill- ment of those dreams for one more second.
  269. analyzed
    examined carefully and methodically; broken down for consideration of constituent parts
    He has done it by allowing the text to be heard, the boiling and lyrical words to strike home and be connected by the social actuality of real life impeccably rendered (and analyzed and criticized).
  270. sobriety
    the state of being sober and not intoxicated by alcohol
    WALTER (Feeling his head; sobriety coming) Where's Mama?
  271. ferret
    domesticated albino variety of the European polecat bred for hunting rats and rabbits
    The little ferret man (played again tellingly by John Fiedler, one of the original cast on Broadway and in the film) is the dream's messenger, and the only white person in the play.
  272. concern
    something that interests you because it is important or affects you
    And she posed all her concerns in a work that portrayed a black family with a greater realism and complexity than had ever been previously seen on an American stage.
  273. integral
    existing as an essential constituent or characteristic
    Her statement cannot be separated from the characters she creates to embody, in their totality, the life she observes: it becomes, in short, the living material of the work, part of its breathing body, integral and alive.
  274. hallway
    an interior passage or corridor onto which rooms open
    (The little man just stares at him) Heaven (Suddenly he stops and looks past the little man into the empty hallway) Where's Willy, man?
  275. mirage
    an optical illusion in which atmospheric refraction by a layer of hot air distorts or inverts reflections of distant objects
    Don't you see there isn't any real progress, Asagai, there is only one large circle that we march in, around and around, each of us with our own little picture in front of us our own little mirage that we think is the future.
  276. taut
    pulled or drawn tight
    WALTER (With taut agitation now) What about the money you put in?
  277. dimension
    a construct whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished
    Yet, with remark- able prescience, she saw history whole: Her play encom- passes everything from the rise of black nationalism in the United States and Africa to the advent of black militancy to the specific dimensions of the black woman's liberation movement.
  278. incredulity
    doubt about the truth of something
    BENEATHA (With incredulity) You you sent all the way home for me?
  279. appreciated
    fully understood or grasped
    The truth is that Hansberry's dramatic skills have yet to be properly appreciated and not just by those guardians of the status quo who pass themselves off as dramatic critics.
  280. oriental
    denoting or characteristic of countries of Asia
    BENEATHA (Emerging grandly from the doorway so that we can see her thoroughly robed in the costume Asagai brought) You are looking at what a well-dressed Ni- gerian woman wears (She parades for RUTH, her hair completely hidden by the headdress; she is coquettish- ly fanning herself with an ornate oriental fan, mistak- enly more like Butterfly than any Nigerian that ever was) Isn't it beautiful?
  281. affirmation
    the act of affirming or asserting or stating something
    A RAISIN IN THE SUN 117 LINDNER (More encouraged by such affirmation) That we don't try hard enough in this world to understand the other fellow's problem.
  282. conflict
    an open clash between two opposing groups (or individuals)
    And how those psychological projections of human life can come into conflict like any other product of that life.
  283. burst
    come open suddenly and violently, as if from internal pressure
    The Younger famUy is the incarnation before they burst from the bloody Southern backroads and the burning streets of Watts and Newark onto TV screens and the world stage of our common ghetto-variey Fanny Lou Hamers, Malcolm X's, and Angela Davises.
  284. unpack
    remove from its packing
    All this unpacking and everything we got to do.
  285. imago
    an adult insect produced after metamorphosis
    Her bearing is perhaps most like the noble bearing of the women of the Hereros of Southwest Africa rather as if she imagines that as she walks she still bears a basket or a vessel upon her head.
  286. elude
    escape, either physically or mentally
    She is lost, vague, trying to catch hold, to make some sense of A RAISIN IN THE SUN 139 her former command of the world, but it still eludes her.
  287. contradiction
    opposition between two conflicting forces or ideas
    But in the contradiction between form and content, content must be the bottom line though unless the form be an extension of (and correctly serve) that content, obviously even understand- ing of the content will be flawed.
  288. Luther
    German theologian who led the Reformation; believed that salvation is granted on the basis of faith rather than deeds (1483-1546)
    A writer of un- limited compassion, Miss Hansberry believed that all people must be measured, as she put it, by both their "hills and valleys. 9 * Miss Hansberry, who died of cancer at the age of 34 in 1965, wrote Raisin well before the marches on Washing- ton, the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the inner-city explosions.
  289. reversal
    the act of reversing the order or place of
    (BENEATHA enters, dressed for the evening in a cocktail dress and earrings, hair natural) GEORGE Well hey (Crosses to BENEATHA; thoughtful, with emphasis, since this is a reversal) You look great!
  290. gruff
    brusque and surly and forbidding
    TRAVIS (The masculinity and gruff ness start to jade at last) Aw gaalee Mama ...
  291. content
    satisfied or showing satisfaction with things as they are
    But in the contradiction between form and content, content must be the bottom line though unless the form be an extension of (and correctly serve) that content, obviously even understand- ing of the content will be flawed.
  292. tense
    taut or rigid; stretched tight
    They are both quiet and tense for several seconds) A RAISIN IN THE SUN 29 TRAVIS (Presently) Could I maybe go carry some gro- ceries in front of the supermarket for a little while after school then?
  293. caustic
    of a substance, especially a strong acid; capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action
    Her aspiration is less caustic, more attainable than Walter's.
  294. geometry
    the pure mathematics of points and lines and curves and surfaces
    It isn't a circle it is simply a long line as in geometry, you know, one that reaches into infinity.
  295. somewhat
    to a small degree or extent
    Indeed, her reading has been taken as the model and somewhat institutionalized in various productions I've seen.
  296. ledger
    a record in which commercial accounts are recorded
    But whether I go into business selling it to 'em is, and I don't want that on my ledger this late in life.
  297. commence
    set in motion, cause to start
    One done almost lost his mind thinking 'bout money all the time and the other done commence to talk about things I can't seem to under- stand in no form or fashion.
  298. hysteria
    state of violent mental agitation
    (RUTH folds over, near hysteria) MAMA (Worriedly hovering over RUTH) Ruth honey what's the matter with you you sick?
  299. similarly
    in like or similar manner
    Similarly, the new interpreters of Walter Lee (James Pickens in New York, Delroy Lindo at Yale and in Wash- ington) are something "fresh," like our kids say.
  300. scion
    a descendent or heir
    Both Clay and Richard are rebellious scions of the middle class.
  301. vindicate
    show to be right by providing justification or proof
    (The boy finally turns around and rolls his eyes at her, knowing the mood has changed and he is vindicated; he does not, however, move toward her yet) Not for nothing in this world!
  302. trek
    any long and difficult trip
    (WALTER has begun the trek out of the room, slowly and awkwardly, rather like a small boy, passing the back of his sleeve across his mouth from time to time) Life can really be so much simpler than people let it be most of the time.
  303. singing
    the act of singing vocal music
    Why ain't you singing this morning, Ruth?
  304. edge
    a line determining the limits of an area
    On one level Walter Lee is merely aspiring to full and acknowl- edged humanity; on another level he yearns to strut his "manhood," a predictable mix of machismo and fantasy. 14 A RAISIN IN THE SUN But Hansberry takes it even further to show us that on still another level Walter Lee, worker though he be, has the "realizable" dream of the black petty bourgeoisie.
  305. stretch
    extend one's limbs or muscles, or the entire body
    WALTER (Quietly) Sometimes it's like I can see the fu- ture stretched out in front of me just plain as day.
  306. stupor
    marginal consciousness
    (Her son sits up at last, in a stupor of sleepiness) I say hurry up, Travis!
  307. record
    anything (such as a document or a phonograph record or a photograph) providing permanent evidence of or information about past events
    It has broken or approached long-standing box office records and has been properly hailed as "a classic," while the Washington Post has called it succinctly: "one of the handful of great American dramas ... in the inner circle, along with Death of a Salesman, Long Day's Journey into Night, and The Glass Menagerie" For a playwright who knows, too well, the vagaries and realities of American theater, this assessment is gratifying.
  308. clasp
    hold firmly and tightly
    TRAVIS Whoopee (He leaps up and clasps his father around the middle with his legs, and they face each other in mutual appreciation; slowly WALTER LEE peeks around the boy to catch the violent rays from his wife's eyes and draws his head back as if shot) WALTER You better get down now and get to school, man.
  309. inflection
    the patterns of stress and intonation in a language
    Her speech is a mixture of many things; it is different from the rest of the family's insofar as education has per- meated her sense of English and perhaps the Midwest rather than the South has finally at last won out in her inflection; but not altogether, be- cause over all of it is a soft slurring and trans- formed use of vowels which is the decided influ- ence of the Southside.
  310. fresh
    recently made, produced, or harvested
    Similarly, the new interpreters of Walter Lee (James Pickens in New York, Delroy Lindo at Yale and in Wash- ington) are something " fresh," like our kids say.
  311. sob
    weep convulsively
    (The glassy-eyed look melts and then she col- lapses into a fit of heavy sobbing.
  312. yearn
    desire strongly or persistently
    On one level Walter Lee is merely aspiring to full and acknowl- edged humanity; on another level he yearns to strut his "manhood," a predictable mix of machismo and fantasy. 14 A RAISIN IN THE SUN But Hansberry takes it even further to show us that on still another level Walter Lee, worker though he be, has the "realizable" dream of the black petty bourgeoisie.
  313. investment
    the act of investing; laying out money or capital in an enterprise with the expectation of profit
    You see, this little liquor store we got in mind cost seventy-five thousand and we figured the initial investment on the place be 'bout thirty thousand, see.
  314. erratic
    liable to sudden unpredictable change
    He is a lean, intense young man in his middle thirties, inclined to quick nervous movements and erratic speech habits and always in his voice there is a quality of indictment) WALTER Is he out yet?
  315. exaggerate
    to enlarge beyond bounds or the truth
    They dip and she melts into his arms in a classic, body-melding "slow drag") BENEATHA (Regarding them a long time as they dance, then drawing in her breath for a deeply exaggerated comment which she does not particularly mean) Talk about oldddddddddd-fashioneddddddd Negroes!
  316. glance
    throw a glance at; take a brief look at
    (They ex- change glances) You don't think MAMA (With her sense of drama) Now I ain't saying what I think.
  317. pantomime
    a performance using gestures and body movements without words
    He dances with RUTH some more and starts to laugh and stops and pantomimes someone over an operating table) I can just see that chick someday looking down at some poor cat on an operating table and before she starts to slice him, she says .
  318. unison
    corresponding exactly
    Ain't many girls who decide WALTER and BENEATHA (In unison) "to be a doctor."
  319. savor
    the taste experience when a savoury condiment is taken into the mouth
    BENEATHA (Drily) Well if the salt loses its savor MAMA Now that will do.
  320. lyrical
    expressing deep emotion
    He has done it by allowing the text to be heard, the boiling and lyrical words to strike home and be connected by the social actuality of real life impeccably rendered (and analyzed and criticized).
  321. bastion
    projecting part of a rampart or other fortification
    TRAVIS (Safely behind the bastion of MAMA) That's right look out, now!
  322. falter
    move hesitatingly, as if about to give way
    I'm going to look that son-of-a-bitch in the eyes and say (He falters) and say, "All right, Mr. Lindner (He falters even more) that's your neighborhood out there!
  323. symbol
    something visible that by association or convention represents something else that is invisible
    "There he is Symbol of a Rising Class!
  324. chore
    a specific piece of work required to be done as a duty or for a specific fee
    MAMA Did you get all them chores done already?
  325. impact
    the striking of one body against another
    They are necessarily larger than life in impact but crafted meticulously from living social material When the play opened on Broadway, Lena Younger, the emotional adhesive of the family, was given a broad, aggressive reading by Claudia McNeil.
  326. deplore
    express strong disapproval of
    Well to get right to the point I (A great breath, and he is off at last) I am sure you people must be aware of some of the incidents which have happened in various parts of the city when colored people have moved into certain areas (BE- NEATHA exhales heavily and starts tossing a piece of fruit up and down in the air) Well because we have what I think is going to be a unique type of organiza- tion in American community life not only do we deplore that kind of thing but we are trying t...
  327. oblivious
    (followed by `to' or `of') lacking conscious awareness of
    (He stops short, struck dumb at the sight of the oblivious WALTER and RUTH) BENEATHA (Smoothing her hair with slight embarrass- ment) Oh yes, that's my mother.
  328. biology
    the science that studies living organisms
    And you know, biology is the greatest.
  329. nationalism
    the doctrine that your national culture and interests are superior to any other
    Yet, with remark- able prescience, she saw history whole: Her play encom- passes everything from the rise of black nationalism in the United States and Africa to the advent of black militancy to the specific dimensions of the black woman's liberation movement.
  330. infinity
    time without end
    It isn't a circle it is simply a long line as in geometry, you know, one that reaches into infinity.
  331. tension
    the action of stretching something tight
    All of Raisin's characters speak to the text and are critical to its dramatic tensions and understanding.
  332. baton
    a hollow metal rod that is wielded or twirled by a drum major or drum majorette
    The baton was ready to pass from "George's father" as leader of the "Freedom Movement" (when its real muscle was always the Lena Youngers and their husbands) to the Walter Lees and Beneathas and Asagais and even the Georges.
  333. ideological
    of or pertaining to or characteristic of an orientation that characterizes the thinking of a group or nation
    We missed the essence of the work that Hansberry had created a family on the cutting edge of the same class and ideological struggles as existed in the movement itself and among the people.
  334. measure
    determine the measurements of something or somebody, take measurements of
    A writer of un- limited compassion, Miss Hansberry believed that all people must be measured, as she put it, by both their "hills and valleys. 9 * Miss Hansberry, who died of cancer at the age of 34 in 1965, wrote Raisin well before the marches on Washing- ton, the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the inner-city explosions.
  335. course
    a connected series of events or actions or developments
    The woman Was Lorraine Hansberry, and the play, of course, was A Raisin in the Sun. Taking her title from Langston Hughes's poem "Har- lem," Miss Hansberry forced both blacks and whites to reexamine the deferred dreams of black America.
  336. replace
    put something back where it belongs
    {She looks out of the window as she replaces the plant) Lord, ain't nothing as dreary as the view from this win- dow on a dreary day, is there?
  337. dreary
    lacking in liveliness or charm or surprise
    {She looks out of the window as she replaces the plant) Lord, ain't nothing as dreary as the view from this win- dow on a dreary day, is there?
  338. working class
    a social class comprising those who do manual labor or work for wages
    Walter's relationship to his wife and sister, and Beneatha's with George and Asagai, gives us a variety of male chauvinism working class, petty bourgeois, African.
  339. compassion
    a deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering
    A writer of un- limited compassion, Miss Hansberry believed that all people must be measured, as she put it, by both their "hills and valleys. 9 * Miss Hansberry, who died of cancer at the age of 34 in 1965, wrote Raisin well before the marches on Washing- ton, the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the inner-city explosions.
  340. profound
    situated at or extending to great depth; too deep to have been sounded or plumbed
    (MAMA walks out of the room) RUTH (Almost gently, with profound understanding) You think you a woman, Bennie but you still a little girl.
  341. envelope
    a flat (usually rectangular) container for a letter, thin package, etc.
    He holds the envelope high above his head, like a little dancer, his face is radiant and he is breathless.
  342. ironic
    characterized by often poignant difference or incongruity between what is expected and what actually is
    For black theater artists and would-be theorists especially, this is ironic because the play is probably the most widely appreciated particularly by African Americans black drama that we have.
  343. acute
    ending in a sharp point
    BENEATHA (Still at the door, absently) Yes . . . we've all got acute ghetto-itus.
  344. schooling
    the act of teaching at school
    Monday morning A RAISIN IN THE SUN 107 I want you to take this money and take three thousand dollars and put it in a savings account for Beneatha's medical schooling.
  345. orient
    the hemisphere that includes Eurasia and Africa and Australia
    He ain't hardly got in there good yet. 26 A RAISIN IN THE SUN WALTER (Wandering in, still more oriented to sleep than to a new day) Well, what was you doing all that yelling for if I can't even get in there yet?
  346. eccentricity
    strange and unconventional behavior
    BENEATHA ignores the eccentricity of his actions and goes on with the monologue of insult) Did you dream of yachts on Lake Michigan, Brother?
  347. segregation
    the act of segregating or sequestering
    The Younger family is part of the black majority, and the concerns I once dismissed as "middle class" buying a house and moving into "white folks' neighborhoods" are actually reflective of the essence of black people's 20 A RAISIN IN THE SUN striving and the will to defeat segregation, discrimination, and national oppression.
  348. kindling
    material for starting a fire
    RUTH (Glad to add kindling) She's saying he's crazy.
  349. replenish
    fill something that had previously been emptied
    They who might kill me even . . . actually replenish all that I was.
  350. sterile
    incapable of reproducing
    If we opponents of racism, sexism, and the degeneracies of capitalism today were to write Richard the Nix and Ronnie the Rex, we would not be called the Bard's heirs, although it is the bourgeoisie who came to shower celebration on Shakespeare now they provide sterile, dead productions to hide the real texts.
  351. leap
    move forward by leaps and bounds
    TRAVIS Whoopee (He leaps up and clasps his father around the middle with his legs, and they face each other in mutual appreciation; slowly WALTER LEE peeks around the boy to catch the violent rays from his wife's eyes and draws his head back as if shot) WALTER You better get down now and get to school, man.
  352. irritable
    easily irritated or annoyed
    RUTH Oh, Walter WALTER (An irritable mimic) Oh, Walter!
  353. assembling
    the act of gathering something together
    (He turns his back and walks to the door) LINDNER (Looking around at the hostile faces and reach- ing and assembling his hat and briefcase) Well I don't understand why you people are reacting this way.
  354. evade
    avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues)
    BENEATHA You're evading.
  355. figure
    alternative names for the body of a human being
    I mean we figured it out, me and Willy and Bobo.
  356. dancing
    taking a series of rhythmical steps (and movements) in time to music
    She has stopped dancing to watch him in this unknown mood) That's my man, Kenyatta.
  357. hardware
    instrumentalities (tools or implements) made of metal
    MAMA Travis you run to the hardware and get me some string cord.
  358. assess
    evaluate or estimate the nature, quality, ability, extent, or significance of
    That is, she analyzes and assesses reality and shapes her statement as an aesthe- tically powerful and politically advanced work of art.
  359. prod
    to push against gently
    WALTER continues, prodding) Ruth made up the note read it ...
  360. remark
    make or write a comment on
    Yet, with remark- able prescience, she saw history whole: Her play encom- passes everything from the rise of black nationalism in the United States and Africa to the advent of black militancy to the specific dimensions of the black woman's liberation movement.
  361. abdomen
    the region of the body of a vertebrate between the thorax and the pelvis
    (She laughs joyously, having practically destroyed the apartment, and flings her arms up and lets them come down happily, slowly, reflectively, over her abdomen, aware for the first time perhaps that the life therein pulses with hap- piness and not despair) Lena?
  362. mania
    an irrational but irresistible motive for a belief or action
    BENEATHA (Giggling fiercely) Travis we were trying to make Mania Mrs. Miniver not Scarlett O'Hara!
  363. majority
    the property resulting from being or relating to the greater in number of two parts; the main part
    For Raisin typifies American society in a way that re- flects more accurately the real lives of the black U.S. majority than any work that ever received commercial exposure before it, and few if any since.
  364. tuition
    a fee paid for instruction (especially for higher education)
    Does he pay tuition?
  365. empty
    holding or containing nothing
    This here can is empty as Jacob's kettle.
  366. adjust
    alter or regulate so as to achieve accuracy or conform to a standard
    Her dark-brown face is surrounded by the total whiteness of her hair, and, being a woman who has adjusted to many things in life and over- come many more, her face is full of strength.
  367. sensuous
    taking delight in beauty
    As the music, soulful and sensuous, comes up he dances over to RUTH and tries to get her to dance with him.
  368. theatre
    a building where theatrical performances or motion-picture shows can be presented
    When my wife and I and three of our children went to 12 A RAISIN IN THE SUN the recent New York revival by the Roundabout Theatre, Olivia Cole was playing the role.
  369. continuity
    uninterrupted connection or union
    But that's not reality either, though his discussion of the dynamics and dialectics of revolution and of the continuity of human struggle, the only means of progress still rings with truth!
  370. oppress
    come down on or keep down by unjust use of one's authority
    Without quite realizing it, he oppresses his wife, Ruth, a domestic, and mocks the ambitions of his 20-year-old sister, Beneatha, a fledgling activist and med- ical student.
  371. future
    the time yet to come
    And she always saw the present and future in the light of the past clear back to the slavery of the Old 8 A RAISIN IN THE SUN South and the new slavery that followed for black workers who migrated to the industrial ghettos of the North.
  372. incarnation
    the act of attributing human characteristics to abstract ideas etc.
    The Younger famUy is the incarnation before they burst from the bloody Southern backroads and the burning streets of Watts and Newark onto TV screens and the world stage of our common ghetto-variey Fanny Lou Hamers, Malcolm X's, and Angela Davises.
  373. college
    an institution of higher education created to educate and grant degrees; often a part of a university
    GEORGE Oh, it's just a college girl's way of calling people Uncle Toms but that isn't what it means at all.
  374. promenade
    a leisurely walk (usually in some public place)
    (She promenades to the radio and, with an arrogant flourish, turns off the good loud blues that is playing) Enough of this assimilationist junk!
  375. kindle
    catch fire
    RUTH (Glad to add kindling) She's saying he's crazy.
  376. status
    a state at a particular time
    The truth is that Hansberry's dramatic skills have yet to be properly appreciated and not just by those guardians of the status quo who pass themselves off as dramatic critics.
  377. utensil
    an implement for practical use (especially in a household)
    (WALTER gets his bathroom utensils and flies out to the bathroom) RUTH Sit down and have your breakfast, Travis.
  378. strut
    to walk with a lofty proud gait, often in an attempt to impress others
    On one level Walter Lee is merely aspiring to full and acknowl- edged humanity; on another level he yearns to strut his "manhood," a predictable mix of machismo and fantasy. 14 A RAISIN IN THE SUN But Hansberry takes it even further to show us that on still another level Walter Lee, worker though he be, has the "realizable" dream of the black petty bourgeoisie.
  379. depressing
    causing sad feelings of gloom and inadequacy
    And here a table or a chair has been moved to disguise the worn places in the carpet; but the carpet has fought back by showing its weariness, with depressing uniformity, elsewhere on its surface.
  380. exotic
    being or from or characteristic of another place or part of the world
    As they work, the radio is on and a Southside disk-jockey pro- gram is inappropriately filling the house with a rather exotic saxophone blues.
  381. epitaph
    an inscription on a tombstone or monument in memory of the person buried there
    You done wrote his epitaph too like the rest of the world?
  382. shift
    move very slightly
    (And now the lighting shifts subtly to suggest the world of WALTER'S imagination, and the mood shifts from pure comedy.
  383. surgical
    of or relating to or involving or used in surgery
    (RUTH is pushing her through the door) The Ashanti were performing surgical opera- tions when the English (RUTH pulls the door to, with BENEATHA on the other side, and smiles graciously at GEORGE.
  384. locate
    discover the location of; determine the place of; find by searching or examining
    The single window that has been provided for these "two" rooms is located in this kitchen area.