Study Guide

Cry, the Beloved Country Chapter 16

By Alan Paton

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Chapter 16

  • Kumalo goes to meet with the girl who is carrying Absalom's child, and he breaks the news that Absalom is in jail for murdering a white man.
  • Then Kumalo realizes that the girl is a runaway who has lived with three different men, all of whom (including Absalom) are now in jail. Hmm. We're sensing a pattern here.
  • He starts to get frustrated, and he asks aggressively if she would sleep with him if he asked it.
  • She says she would, which makes him cover his face with shame.
  • She begins to sob, and Kumalo suddenly feels guilty for putting her in this horrible sexual situation. We're cringing just thinking about it.
  • Kumalo asks if she wants to marry Absalom and come to the countryside to stay with his family.
  • She's totally game, even if it means living quietly.
  • But Kumalo makes her promise that, if she ever regrets her decision to move into the country, she will tell him straight out, rather than running away like she ran from her mother.

Cry, the Beloved Country Chapter 16 Study Group

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