Cry, the Beloved Country

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Cry, the Beloved Country Book III, Chapter 33 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The sticks stay in the ground, and are rumored to be for a dam. Absalom’s wife is doing well, and takes good care of Gertrude’s son. James has been gone from Ndotsheni for some time. One day, the young boy comes riding by Stephen’s home again. He tells Stephen that soon he will be going to live in Johannesburg. Stephen tells him that when this happens, “something bright will go out of Ndotsheni.” The two of them have another Zulu lesson.
As Stephen’s family seems to be successfully rebuilding itself, Stephen is also building a relationship with Arthur’s son. The young boy’s interest in the language of Zulu suggests that he will continue in his father’s footsteps, looking for ways to connect the races as opposed to separate them.
Themes
Fathers, Sons, and Families Theme Icon
Understanding/Knowledge vs. Ignorance/Naiveté Theme Icon
After the boy sees his grandfather’s car and heads back to the farm, Stephen notices a young man by the church. He is the new agricultural demonstrator, Napoleon Letsitsi. He was hired by James to help teach farming and care of the earth to the people of Ndotsheni. Stephen asks Napoleon if he would like to stay with him, and Napoleon says he would. He gives Stephen a rundown of the techniques that he would like to teach the people of Ndotsheni, and talks about the dam that is to be built. With each new description, Stephen gets even more excited. Napoleon tells Stephen that he is very excited, but he must see the chief before anything else is done.
Napoleon has come to help the people of Ixopo relearn the ways of the land, so that they may thrive and flourish and not have to leave for Johannesburg. He wants to help rebuild both the land and the people who tend it, to rebuild the virtuous cycle of care.
Themes
The Land and the Tribe Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Families Theme Icon
Understanding/Knowledge vs. Ignorance/Naiveté Theme Icon
Stephen hears the sound of the horse outside. The boy is outside again. He has ridden back to say goodbye to Stephen because he is returning to Johannesburg tomorrow. He promises that he is returning for the holidays, and then rides away. As Stephen watches him go, Napoleon tells him that this land and valley can be again what it was in the past. Stephen says that he hopes it happens before his own death.
Stephen is obviously sad that the boy is leaving, perhaps because it is underlining the loss of his own son. When Napoleon excitedly tells him that this place will once be back to its former self, Stephen expresses that he hopes it happen before he dies, revealing a sense of sadness inside of him, but also an excitement about what might be possible.
Themes
The Land and the Tribe Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Families Theme Icon
Understanding/Knowledge vs. Ignorance/Naiveté Theme Icon