A Raisin in the Sun- Question 11

Why does George Murchison call Walter “Prometheus”?

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18 Responses to A Raisin in the Sun- Question 11

  1. Hannah Dweikat says:

    First of all, Prometheus is known in Greek mythology. He was a titan known for his sly intelligence. George Murchison calls Walter “Prometheus” because Walter was acting like he knew everything about school. Walter was making fun of George by saying “I see you all all the time-with the books tucked under your arms-going to you ‘clahsses’. And for what! What in the world you learning over there? Filling up your heads-with the sociology and the psychology-but they teaching you how to be a man? How to take over and run the world? They teaching you how to run a rubber plantation or steel mill? Naw-just to talk proper and read books and wear them funny-looking white shoes…” Walter does not really know anything about school. He should not have said anything about it. That is why George calls Walter “Prometheus”.

  2. Noah Haga says:

    At first, George was unsure of what to say to Walter because at the time all George could say was “You’re all wacked up with bitterness, man.” (page 51). To delay the conversation he shifted the conversation towards Beneatha, and finally when George gets half-way out of the door he turns to Walter and calls him Prometheus (sarcastically of course because George feels that Walter cannot seriously be called Prometheus: in George’s eyes Walter has no intelligence). George’s final insult, or witty “comeback”, exploited Walter’s ignorance due to the fact that Walter has had liitle or no schooling, so he does not know who Prometheus is. A lesson to be learned from this passage is to never criticize that which ypu which do not know of or do not comprehend.

  3. Abigail Rinehart says:

    I can’t agree with you more! I think that Walter was acting like he knew everything there was to know about school but he obviously did not! I don’t think he should have said anything about school in the first place. If Walter had the chance to go to school he would have known who Prometheus was. He was very confused after George left because on page 52 Walter asks Ruth “Who is Prometheus?” Ruth replies “I don’t know. Don’t worry about it.” Walter says “See there-they get to a point where they can’t insult you man to man-they got to go talk about something ain’t nobody never heard of!” I think Walter would have been better off if he just kept his mouth shut.

  4. Patrick Hernandez says:

    “I see you all the time-with the books tucked under your arms-going to your ‘clahsses’. And for what! What in the world you learing over there? Filling up your heads-with the sociology and the psychology-but they teaching you how to be a man? How to take over and run the world? They teaching you how to run a rubber plantation or a steel mill? Naw-just to talk proper and read books and wear them funny-looking white shoes…” In this part of the book, Walter is making fun of George Murchison and his school life. Walter thinks he knows everything about college, about what they learn there, and most importantly, all about Murchison. This is why George calls Walter “Prometheus.” In Greek mythology, Prometheus was a figure who had wily intelligence, and believed he knew everything. This is why George made the comparison of Walter to Prometheus.

  5. Mikaylee Coffey says:

    i agree with Hannah and Patrick because Walter was just making fun of him so when George called him that it was right. Walter told him that. “I see you all the time-with the books tucked under you r arms-going to you ‘clahsses’.” He had no right to judge George like that just because George wanted a better education doesn’t mean that Walter could talk to him like that. So thats the reason George called him a “Prometheus.”

  6. Floyd Kornegay says:

    “Well, they look crazy…white shoes as cold as it is.” That was just the first of the insults that Walter Lee was using to take stabs at George. All this, in my opinion and clearly seen in the book, started to make George come to a boil. Walter, having led to his own demise by insulting George while ignorant, set himself up for the insult. George exploiting that “tool”, came back with a comment that was completely accurate while confusing Walter. Prometheus, as many know, is, in Greek mythology, the titan who brought fire to mankind, thus leading to his own downfall. So, it was only fitting that George would call Walter “Prometheus.”

  7. Summer Allen:-) says:

    I too agree with Hannah. Again, Prometheus was the son of a titan, and he was very clever and tricked people into doing things unheard of. He was very intelligent. It is also said that Prometheus was a “challenger.” I think that means that he argued with what a lot of what people said, kind of like Walter does. I also feel that he called Walter “Prometheus” because Walter tried to talk like he knew everything about this college that George attended when he really didn’t. I don’t think that Walter had any right going around making all of these comments on his assumptions of the University boys. He never went there so how could he know. One instance in which he insults George is on page 51 when Walter says: “They teaching you haw to run a rubber plantation or a steel mill? Naw–just to talk proper and read books and wear them funny-looking white shoes…”
    Also, I read about how once Prometheus tried to get tricky with Zeus, who was of higher class than him

  8. Summer Allen:-) says:

    Whoops. I’m not sure what happened but this is continued from my above comment. Sorry.

    So, I think that may also demonstrate how Walter wasn’t as intelligent as George so he insulted him like Prometheus did in one situation with Zeus.

  9. Rob E. says:

    I agree with Hannah. George is calling him Prometheus sarcastically. He is referring to and extremely intelligent mythological figure to insult Walter’s lack of education. It also becomes more insulting because Walter does not recognize the allusion to this figure.

  10. Noah Haga says:

    Summer does bring to the table an important opnion. I originally thought that George’s insult was just exploiting Walter’s ignorance, but it may, as well, have been an allusion to the situation between Zeus and Prometheus that Summer is refering to.

  11. Megan Combs says:

    I agree with Mikaylee, Walter didnt have a right to make fun of George fow wanting a better education. i also agree with Hannah

  12. Leslie Brant says:

    I agree with Hannah, he is acting like a know it all. When he and Ruth were fighting because he thought he knew more about the “style”, on pg50 “Ruth. It’s the college style, Walter. Walter. Style?! She looks like she got burnt legs or something!” I also agree with Mikaylee, Walter shouldn’t be making fun of some one who wants an education.

  13. Brittany Somerville says:

    I agree with Noah on this question. I definitely think that George’s comeback was in an attempt to exploit Walter’s ignorance and to prove that being learned makes you better. Unfortunately, this didn’t really work out for him because (p. 52) when Walter says, “Who is Prometheus?” it’s not really getting the point across. Another way of answering this question could be to point out that Walter feels as though he is being punished for all the bad of man-kind and needs to be treated better and he is sort of an under dog, just like the mythological character Prometheus who was punished for his attempt to better man-kind.

  14. Stephen Hegarty says:

    When Walter says “I see you all all the time-with the books tucked under your arms-going to you ‘clahsses”.it makes me want to agree with Hannah in saying that he was making a comparison between how George is a know it all to the mythical titan Prometheus, who is intelligent and believes he knows everything.

  15. Jessica Wackes. says:

    Surprise! I agree with recent points on Walter’s unsuccessful act of worldliness.

  16. Olive K. says:

    I agree with Hannah, Walter was trying to act like he knew everything. Mikalee was right when she said that he didn’t have the right to make fun of him.

  17. Taylor Watts says:

    I also agree with Hannah. Since Prometheus was known for his sly intelligence, George was implying, in a sarcastic way, that Walter knew everything. Walter was drunk on this night so he was just speaking his mind in a slur. He imphasized that you may go to school to get smarter, but it doesn’t teach you how to be a man. Walter was speaking everything like it was all true, so George insulted him without him even knowing.

  18. Ashley Haynes says:

    Prometheus is a character of Greek mythology known for his “sly intelligence,” as others have previously stated. Walter was acting as if he knew everything about not only the lifestyle of his own people, but also that of a college student’s. George, offended, felt that Walter shouldn’ t criticize without knowing the facts and details. By calling Walter Prometheus, George implied that Walter didn’t really know everything, regardless of how he acted. George was also most likely aware that Walter had no idea who Prometheus was, further proving his point.

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