The desolate son has to return home and break news to the family that their hopes for the future have been stolen [by the friend he trusted] and their dreams for a better life are gone. His sister lashes into him with a barrage of ugly epitaphs. She calls him every despicable thing she can imagine. Her contempt for her brother has no limits.
When she takes a breath in the middle of her tirade, the mother interrupts her and says, “I thought I taught you to love him.”
Beneatha, the daughter answers, “Love him? There’s nothing left to love.”
And the mother responds: “There’s always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing. Have you cried for that boy today? I don’t mean for yourself and the family because we lost all that money. I mean for him: for what he’s been through and what it done to him. Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most: when they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain’t through learning, because that ain’t the time at all. It’s when he’s at his lowest and can’t believe in himself ‘cause the world done whipped him so. When you start measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he done come through before he got to wherever he is.”