Book 1, Chapter 5 Notes from Cry, The Beloved Country

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Cry, The Beloved Country Book 1, Chapter 5

Msimangu tells Kumalo that he can stay with Mrs. Lithebe, a kind woman who will charge him cheap rent. At dinner that evening, Kumalo meets a rosy-cheeked English priest who, he learns, is named Father Vincent. Kumalo talks about the beautiful land of his home-and about its problems with overworked soil and drought, and the many people who leave the tribe to go to the city. The others at the table assure him that it is like that everywhere: there is no sense of community, and crime is out of control. After dinner, Msimangu privately tells Kumalo Gertrude's story: he looks at him gravely and says, "she has many husbands." Chapter 5, pg. 23 He continues: Gertrude makes bad liquor and sells it, and she has been in prison more than once. He tries to be kind, but he wants to tell the truth. Kumalo is shocked. They agree that communities are falling apart all over South Africa. Msimangu tells him that Gertrude's son is with her, which is another reason he sent for Kumalo. He tells Kumalo that things are bad now not because of what white people have done-though that was the original cause-but because the natives have not been able to recover from what whites have done to them. He tells him that his brother John has left the church, because the church has been no help in solving the problems of Johannesburg, and this hurts Kumalo. Msimangu apologizes for talking so much, and says that Father Vincent would like to talk about this subject at a later time. Kumalo asks Msimangu to pray for him, and they both go to bed. Kumalo cannot believe he is in Johannesburg.

Topic Tracking: Redemption 2
Topic Tracking: Race Relations 1
Topic Tracking: Kindness 1

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