Cultural roots enforce expectations upon gender roles that sometimes create conflict when one attempts to create his or her identity outside of these constructs. These constructs can be powerful and they often set limits, but they can be transcended.
Beneatha: Hey Oscar, sorry I hadn’t talk to you for a while. I’ve been under a lot of pressure from my family lately. Can you believe that they want me to marry for money? That guy and I share no interests whatsoever, but according to my family, his wealth makes up for it.
Oscar: Hey Benny, sorry to hear about your family. I can’t even imagine marrying someone without loving them, but then again, who would want to marry me right? hehe. It reminds me of how I’m expected to be a “player” because I’m Dominican. My friends doubt that I’m Dominican and sometimes I even question myself because I can’t think of a Dominican that has died a virgin.
Beneatha: Don’t be so hard on yourself Oscar. I guess we’re both condemned. I love school and and I hope to one day become a doctor, but my family is always criticizing my dream. Out of all the people in the world, I expected them to be the most supportive because their family, but I guess their not obligated to encourage me.
Oscar: All I want to do is find true love, but given the state of my current appearance I doubt I’ll ever find it. I wish life was like my childhood, when I was considered a “handsome devil” and I’d be encouraged to date more than one girl at once. That would never happen again because now I’m a fat nerd.
Beneatha: I wish I had some kind of encouragement from my family. According to them I can’t be a doctor because not only am I Black, I’m also a woman. It’s impressive how indoctrinated they are.
Oscar: It’s the same with my family and friends. Just because I enjoy watching Akira and my “game” is weak I’m a bad example of a Dominican. The constant bullying often makes me think about killing myself.
Beneatha: I don’t think you have to follow what you family expects of you. I’m trying to find my identity as a descendant of Africans and I enjoy it even though my family thinks it’s a joke.
Oscar: Yeah, it’s not like I’ll give up my love for sci-fi in order to be respected as a Dominican. I guess I’ll have to focus on my writing to ignore the criticism of my “Dominicaness”. I can’t afford another near death experience because of depression caused by the harassment.
Beneatha: I expect to see your writing in the best sellers section one day Oscar! Anyway, I have to go now. I have a date with Asagai, he’s from Nigeria and he’s helping me find my African identity. My family would prefer I marry the right boy George, but I honestly like Asagai better. Goodbye Oscar.
Oscar: I’ll try not to beat myself up too much about not being Dominican enough. Goodbye Benny. I hope next time we talk you’re a Doctor and I’m the next Tolkien.