A Raisin in the Sun

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Karl Lindner Character Analysis

The only white character to appear onstage during the play, Karl Lindner is a representative of the Clybourne Park Improvement Association, which seeks to dissuade the Youngers from moving to its all-white neighborhood. Lindner is a “quiet-looking middle-aged” man who, when describing Clybourne Park’s offer to the Youngers, insists in vain, “that race prejudice simply doesn’t enter into it.”

Karl Lindner Quotes in A Raisin in the Sun

The A Raisin in the Sun quotes below are all either spoken by Karl Lindner or refer to Karl Lindner. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Dreams Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of A Raisin in the Sun published in 2004.
Act 2, Scene 3 Quotes

But you’ve got to admit that a man, right or wrong, has the right to want to have a neighborhood he lives in a certain kind of way. And at the moment the overwhelming majority of our people out there feel that people get along better, take more of a common interest in the life of the community, when they share a common background. I want you to believe me when I tell you that race prejudice simply doesn’t enter into it. It is a matter of the people of Clybourne Park believing, rightly or wrongly, as I say, that for the happiness of all concerned that our Negro families are happier when they live in their own communities.

Related Characters: Karl Lindner (speaker)
Page Number: 117-118
Explanation and Analysis:

This quote is spoken by Mr. Lindner, a representative from the Clybourne Park Improvement Association. Before this moment, the Youngers have been riding the coattails of the excitement that came from Mama's purchase of the new house. As they celebrate, Mr. Lindner knocks on the door. He comes into the Younger home to tell them that the homeowners of Clybourne Park are uncomfortable with a "different" family moving in—so much so that they are offering to purchase the house from the Younger family at a higher price than what they've paid. This is an effort to maintain Clybourne Park as a community of people with "common interests," or simply put: to make sure that black people do not move in. 

Although not outwardly derogatory, Mr. Lindner's efforts to maintain racial segregation in Clybourne Park are inherently racist. The white families of Clybourne Park do not see black people as equals and thereby do not believe that they deserve to live in their neighborhoods. Mr. Lindner tries to be as politically correct as possible, but the message is clear: the status quo in Clybourne Park is that of white supremacy, and the members of the community want to maintain that status quo. Although sugar coated in flowery language and nervousness, Mr.Lindner symbolizes the abundant discrimination and racism of American society in the 1950s—racism that exhibited itself in many ways, not just in outright violence or insulting language. 

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other A Raisin in the Sun quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire A Raisin in the Sun LitChart as a printable PDF.
A raisin in the sun.pdf.medium

Karl Lindner Character Timeline in A Raisin in the Sun

The timeline below shows where the character Karl Lindner appears in A Raisin in the Sun. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, Scene 3
Dignity and Pride Theme Icon
Race, Discrimination, and Assimilation Theme Icon
Gender and Feminism Theme Icon
Money Theme Icon
...that he looks after his mother’s “business matters.” The man then introduces himself as Karl Lindner, a representative of the Clybourne Park Improvement Association. Walter is comfortable and at ease as... (full context)
Race, Discrimination, and Assimilation Theme Icon
As Lindner sits and begins to explain the purpose of the Clybourne Park Improvement Association, Beneatha grows... (full context)
Dignity and Pride Theme Icon
Race, Discrimination, and Assimilation Theme Icon
Seeing that Lindner still looks uncomfortable, Ruth offers Lindner another chair to sit in, but “more frustrated than... (full context)
Dreams Theme Icon
Race, Discrimination, and Assimilation Theme Icon
Lindner continues his speech, “gaining confidence in his mission” when he sees the interest in his... (full context)
Dignity and Pride Theme Icon
Race, Discrimination, and Assimilation Theme Icon
Money Theme Icon
With this evidence of Lindner’s true motive in visiting the family, Beneatha bitterly denounces the so-called “Welcoming Committee.” Walter is... (full context)
Dreams Theme Icon
Race, Discrimination, and Assimilation Theme Icon
...had a “caller,” and Beneatha, Walter, and Ruth “saucily” and playfully relate the story of Lindner’s visit. Visibly concerned by this news, Mama tends to her plant and asks whether Lindner... (full context)
Act 3
Dignity and Pride Theme Icon
Money Theme Icon
...made a phone call to “The Man.” Beneatha realizes that Walter is referring to Karl Lindner and questions Walter about the call. Walter states that the family is “going to do... (full context)
Dignity and Pride Theme Icon
Race, Discrimination, and Assimilation Theme Icon
Money Theme Icon
Still in denial of Walter’s intentions in calling Lindner, Ruth again asks Walter about the phone call. Walter says that he told Lindner to... (full context)
Dignity and Pride Theme Icon
Race, Discrimination, and Assimilation Theme Icon
Gender and Feminism Theme Icon
Money Theme Icon
...gives his family a preview of the “show” that he plans to put on for Lindner, dropping to his knees and “groveling” in an “anguished imitation” of a “slow-witted movie stereotype.”... (full context)
Dignity and Pride Theme Icon
Race, Discrimination, and Assimilation Theme Icon
Gender and Feminism Theme Icon
Money Theme Icon
...runs into the room and says that the moving men have arrived. A moment later, Lindner appears at the door. Ruth “mechanically” goes to the bedroom and tells Walter that Lindner... (full context)
Dignity and Pride Theme Icon
Race, Discrimination, and Assimilation Theme Icon
Walter begins his conversation with Lindner meekly, telling him that the Youngers “are very plain people.” Looking down at his feet,... (full context)
Dreams Theme Icon
Dignity and Pride Theme Icon
Race, Discrimination, and Assimilation Theme Icon
Money Theme Icon
Calling Travis to him, Walter stands proudly behind his son and tells Lindner that Travis “makes the sixth generation of our family in this country.” Walter reaches the... (full context)
Dreams Theme Icon
Dignity and Pride Theme Icon
Gender and Feminism Theme Icon
Making final preparations to leave the apartment, Mama references Walter’s confrontation with Lindner, asking Ruth, “He finally come into his manhood today, didn’t he?” Biting her lip to... (full context)