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Book 2, Chapter 21 Notes from Cry, The Beloved Country

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Cry, The Beloved Country Book 2, Chapter 21

At the funeral, James sees how many people of different races loved his son, and he feels proud. He worries about his wife, but he has somewhat recovered from the pain and shock. He talks that evening with Harrison's father, who asks him if the natives who killed Arthur have been caught. Jarvis tells him that they are still waiting for the housekeeper to regain consciousness. Harrison talks angrily about the native problem: none of the white householders knows what the servants are up to, so no one can feel safe. Jarvis is not very interested in blame or vengeance.

The next morning, the Harrisons tell James that Arthur's housekeeper has recovered, and has testified that there were indeed three men at the crime scene, and that the police hope to find them all soon. James goes to read more of his son's writing, fighting the urge to fall into despair. Arthur writes about Christianity and racial prejudice: white people, he says, have become convinced that God made black people to serve them. They look to the immoral natives and say they could not handle any power, then look at the moral natives and pity them. He writes, "The truth is, our civilization is not Christian; it is a tragic compound of great ideal and fearful practice, of loving charity and fearful clutching of possessions." Chapter 21, pg. 155 James sees where Arthur stopped, knowing that these were the last words he wrote. He sits for a moment, proud and anguished. His wife comes in, and he shows her the manuscript, prepared for her tears.

Topic Tracking: Race Relations 7

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