Left to Tell

by

Immaculée Ilibagiza

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Pastor Murinzi Character Analysis

Pastor Murinzi is a Hutu protestant pastor who lives in Mataba. He agrees to shelter Immaculée and other Tutsi women and girls, putting his life at risk to do so. At the same time, he is resentful of Leonard and sometimes says cruel and baseless things about him. Despite the tensions that at points exist between the pastor and Immaculée, Immaculée is extremely grateful to him for risking his life to save hers.
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Pastor Murinzi Character Timeline in Left to Tell

The timeline below shows where the character Pastor Murinzi appears in Left to Tell. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: No Going Back
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Damascene instructs Immaculée to stay with Pastor Murinzi , warning her that if the killers catch her, not only will she be murdered... (full context)
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Pastor Murinzi lives five miles away from Immaculée’s family. While Augustine and Immaculée are walking, they pass... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Pastor’s House
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Pastor Murinzi lives in a large, lavish, European-style house. He greets Immaculée with a smile; he is... (full context)
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Pastor Murinzi’s youngest son, Lechim, is another of Immaculée’s close friends from primary school, and was the... (full context)
Chapter 8: Farewell to the Boys
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One of Vianney’s high school teachers named Nzima knocks on Pastor Murinzi’s front door. His voice is full of desperation as he asks if he is going... (full context)
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Hours later, Immaculée is sitting alone in a bedroom when Pastor Murinzi opens the door and leads five other Tutsi women into the room, telling them to... (full context)
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Pastor Murinzi explains that the killers are going into every house. He promises not to turn the... (full context)
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...the pastor’s house and let the boys go. In the early hours of the morning, Pastor Murinzi wakes Immaculée and brings her down to say goodbye to Vianney and Augustine. She must... (full context)
Chapter 9: Into the Bathroom
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...to Vianney and Augustine, Immaculée joins the other Tutsi women as they are led by Pastor Murinzi into a bathroom that is only four by three feet in size. Immaculée cannot understand... (full context)
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After Pastor Murinzi leaves, Immaculée silently prays for God to protect her family. She feels resentment toward the... (full context)
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...Immaculée finds it impossible to sleep. The morning after they begin hiding there, they overhear Pastor Murinzi promising someone that he is “a good Hutu” and that he would never hide Tutsis.... (full context)
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When Pastor Murinzi returns that evening, Immaculée is in a “trance,” holding her rosary and barely cognizant of... (full context)
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The next day Pastor Murinzi tells the women that there are rumors he is hiding them and that a different... (full context)
Chapter 10: Confronting My Anger
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...because all these things were “trivial” in the context of their battle for survival. Sometimes Pastor Murinzi isn’t able to bring the women food until 3 or 4am and sometimes what he... (full context)
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A week into Immaculée’s time in the bathroom, she and the other women overhear Pastor Murinzi talking to his son, Sembeba. Sembeba suggests that Tutsis deserve to be massacred; in school... (full context)
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...day, the killers return, but once again they do not find the women. That night, Pastor Murinzi comes into the bathroom with a look of horror on his face. He tells the... (full context)
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Immaculée asks Pastor Murinzi to turn on the radio in his room so the women can listen, and he... (full context)
Chapter 12: No Friends to Turn To
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...“hope.” By the end of the first month that the women spend in the bathroom, Pastor Murinzi’s patience appears to be running out. He accuses Leonard of being “a very bad Tutsi,”... (full context)
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Immaculée is in disbelief that Pastor Murinzi has been duped by the government’s propaganda campaigns. In the back of her mind, Immaculée... (full context)
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Before Pastor Murinzi leaves, Immaculée asks if she can borrow a Bible, and he agrees. Immaculée worries that... (full context)
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...Immaculée knows named Sony, whose husband was killed in the massacre of 1973. Sony begs Pastor Murinzi to let her in, but he tells her he cannot hide Tutsis and shuts the... (full context)
Chapter 13: A Gathering of Orphans
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...month has passed since Immaculée arrived in the bathroom. The killers keep coming back to Pastor Murinzi’s house, but they have not found the women. Every day brings worse and worse radio... (full context)
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...Sometimes the BBC plays messages of Paul Kagame telling Tutsis not to lose hope. Meanwhile, Pastor Murinzi is getting increasingly panicked about what he will do with the women, worrying that he... (full context)
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Although Pastor Murinzi clearly considers the women to be “orphans” with no family left on Earth, Immaculée does... (full context)
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In the middle of May, Pastor Murinzi brings two more Tutsi women into the bathroom named Malaba and Solange. Malaba is about... (full context)
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...that this was likely Damascene, and she prays that it wasn’t him. Later, she asks Pastor Murinzi if he has heard anyone talking about Damascene’s death; he says he hasn’t, but she... (full context)
Chapter 14: The Gift of Tongues
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One day, Pastor Murinzi excitedly tells the women that the United Nations is considering sending peacekeeping troops back to... (full context)
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Flattered, Pastor Murinzi brings Immaculée the dictionary and the only two English books he has, and she immediately... (full context)
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...her prayers, hoping he was safe from the killings. John arrives along with much of Pastor Murinzi’s extended family, who have evacuated their homes in Kigali after the RPF arrived in the... (full context)
Chapter 15: Unlikely Saviors
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...far from Mataba. When the troops arrive, the Hutu government throws a big celebration, which Pastor Murinzi says proves that the French have arrived to help the slaughter of Tutsis. However, soon... (full context)
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Immaculée tells Pastor Murinzi that she thinks the women should try to reach a French camp, but the pastor... (full context)
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Immaculée explains that Pastor Murinzi worried the women had gone crazy, so in the middle of the night he brought... (full context)
Chapter 16: Keeping the Faith
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...her prayers are stalled by fear and dread, as she can hear the killers inside Pastor Murinzi’s bedroom, right next to the bathroom door. One killer boasts that he has killed 399... (full context)
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...are safe, and the sound stuns them. However, Immaculée is right: the killers have left. Pastor Murinzi tells the women that the killers almost destroyed the house looking for the women, and... (full context)
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...a different houseboy becomes insistent about cleaning the bathroom in which the women are hiding. Pastor Murinzi tells him he’s cleaned it himself, then says that he’s lost the key and doesn’t... (full context)
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...look as presentable as possible. When they catch sight of themselves in the mirror in Pastor Murinzi’s bedroom, they are horrified. Immaculée’s weight has gone from 115 to 65 pounds. Pastor Murinzi... (full context)
Chapter 17: The Pain of Freedom
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Immaculée is astonished by the feeling of being outside in the fresh air. Most of Pastor Murinzi’s sons, along with John, surround the women, carrying weapons to protect them. Suddenly, a group... (full context)