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ACT II, SCENE 3: Moving day, one week later
It is Saturday, a week later and the day that the Youngers are to move out of their old house. Beneatha and Ruth are in good spirits about leaving the "rat hole." Ruth is also pleased that Walter is a changed man with a positive outlook on life. He even took her out to a movie the previous night. When Walter enters the room, it is obvious that he is also in a great mood, for he playfully dances with his wife. Their levity is interrupted by the appearance of a white man, who comes to the door asking for Lena Younger. Walter tells the stranger that he handles his mother's business matters.
The visitor is Karl Lindner, a representative of the Clybourne Park Improvement Association. In order to keep the Youngers from moving into their neighborhood, he makes a very generous offer on the behalf of his entire association; they want to buy the Youngers' new home at a very handsome price. Although Walter hears the man out, he then demands that he leave. When Mama returns, they all try to hide the news of Lindner's offer from her. Instead, they sarcastically say that the whites in Clybourne Park just cannot wait to meet the Youngers.
All of the family has purchased housewarming gifts for Mama, even little Travis. They give them to her with excitement before they stop to finish packing. Their celebration is again interrupted by the doorbell. This time it is Bobo, one of Walter's business partners. He tells Walter the bad news that Willy has disappeared with all of Walter's insurance money. The entire family is shocked by the news, especially Walter, who is suddenly a broken man. Mama is so angry that she starts to beat Walter on the face. She then prays to God for strength, closing the eventful scene.
Ruth is singing an inspirational song when the curtain opens; the words indicate that there is a new faith and excitement among the family members. The anticipated move to the new house has definitely done wonders for the spirit of all the Youngers; additionally, Walter's spirits have improved because of his receiving the insurance money to open the liquor store. Ruth is especially happy, for leaving the rat hole is for her a step toward freedom from oppression. Her marriage has also improved with Walter's excitement over making his dream come true. He even takes her out to a movie.
Their happiness is somewhat dashed by the appearance of Karl Lindner, a representative from the all white Clybourne Park. When he enters, Walter, with his new sense of pride, says grandly that he is in charge of his mother's business. After wasting some time on preliminaries, Lindner states his purpose. He has come on behalf of the Clybourne Park Association to convince the Youngers not to move into the white neighborhood. He makes an offer to buy the house from them, promising to give them a profitable sum in exchange for a promise that they will not disturb the equilibrium of the white neighborhood. Beneatha does not trust the man from the very beginning, but Ruth and Walter feel that he must be heard out. Eventually, Walter grows angry about Lindner's hypocritical words that indicate the superior attitude of the whites over the blacks; as a result, he turns the intruder out of the house.
When Mama returns, the family does not tell her the true purpose of Lindner's visit. Instead, they distract her with housewarming gifts that they have lovingly purchased for her; the children have appropriately bought her garden tools, and Travis gives her a gardening hat. The wise mother, however, sees through the situation and asks her children if Mr. Lindner had threatened them. Beneatha then tells her in a sarcastic tone about the man's offer.
The doorbell rings again. This time it is Bobo, one of Walter's business partners. He has come to break the awful news that Willy has run off with all of Walter's insurance money, including the amount that was to have been saved for Beneatha's education. The Younger family is shattered. Walter is obviously the one who is most crushed; but Mama is so upset that she starts beating her son senselessly. At the end of the play, she is seen praying to God for strength, ending this very dramatic scene on a very dramatic note.