Act 2 Scene 1
Answers 1Add Yours
The interaction between Walter and George reveals the tension between the working and upper-middle classes. When Asagai visited, Walter had fun, likely as his expense and went along with Beneatha's newfound interests. He was drunk.... he laughed. However, when George arrives, he disrupts Walter's world, jarringly bringing him back to a reality where he is poor, working-class, and unable to provide for his family.
Education and class create a chasm between George and Walter. Walter's resentment of Beneatha's college education is demonstrated in his expressed desire for Beneatha to be a nurse in the play's first scene. That resentment resurfaces in his conversation with George. Intimidated by George's exposure and travels, Walter begins to attack George's attire.
Hansberry skillfully captures the intra-racial tensions in the African-American community. Because society often places blacks in a single, indistinct category, wealthy African-Americans try even harder to distinguish themselves from poor African-Americans.