Study Guide

Kaffir Boy Chapter 39

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Chapter 39

  • Two and a half years after Mark started playing tennis, he wins his first championship, the Alexandra Open.
  • At the Tennis Ranch, Mark jokes with Wolfgang, a German tennis player, that he hopes Wolfgang will be able to keep up with him the next time they play.
  • Mark is aware that he could be arrested for joking around with a white man like that, but realizes he's already gone far away, he might as well go all the way.
  • For a while, Mark had a dual personality – acting one way in certain situations, acting another way in others.
  • But there came a time when he could no longer pretend to be servile.
  • One afternoon, Mama comes home, crying that she's been saved. This time, she is convinced she's met the right church of God.
  • A week after Mama changes churches, her employer manages to register her so she's legally allowed to work. Mama thinks this is a miracle.
  • Mama begins to use the house as her personal place for evangelizing. Every visitor hears about God.
  • She let go of her anger, even against Papa. She tried to help people, no matter what they were like. One day, she brings home a homeless woman and feeds her, telling her about the love of God.
  • Mark leaves, angry with Mama, and wondering if she's gone crazy.
  • So Mark decides to go to Mama's church, to see what's up.
  • As he talks to the people in the church before the services begin, he notices how similar their behavior is with Mama's new behavior. They seemed happy and they greeted each other as "brother" and "sister."
  • Halfway through the service, Mama screams, then starts babbling in tongues. She spoke for five minutes then stopped, while the priest interpreted her prophecy. Then other women speak in tongues and, again, the priest interprets.
  • Mark leaves, confused, but knows his mother isn't crazy. She seemed to be communicating with God.
  • Even while he recognizes her faith is genuine, he realizes that it's not the right faith for him.

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