Cry, The Beloved Country Chapter 30 Summary

Instructor: Dori Starnes

Dori has taught college and high school English courses, and has Masters degrees in both literature and education.

In Chapter 30, Kumalo returns home to Ndotsheni with some of his family members. This lesson shows how Kumalo greets his people and talks over the events of the past and what will happen in their future.

Stranger in a Familiar Land

Have you ever been away for such a long time you feel like a different person when you return? Perhaps places and people seem strange to you, and you feel like a newcomer in a place you've been for a long time. This is how Kumalo feels when he returns to Ndotsheni after his trip to Johannesburg, in Chapter 30 of Cry the Beloved Country. This lesson will focus on the summary of Chapter 30 of Cry the Beloved Country, a 1948 novel by Alan Patton.

Not All Members of the Family Come Home

After the trial has ended and Absalom has been married to his pregnant girlfriend, Kumalo begins his journey home by train. He travels with his sister Gertrude's son and Absalom's wife. He does not bring Gertrude, however, as she has vanished.

The travelers arrive back at the village of Ndotsheni. Kumalo's wife is overjoyed to see them even as she receives the bad news about Absalom and Gertrude. She greets Absalom's wife as 'daughter', and they walk back toward their home from the station.

A Dry Time

Everyone is extremely happy to see that the reverend has returned, but it becomes clear that things are not going well in the village. The drought has crippled Ndotsheni, and there is no corn or other crops. Kumalo learns from a friend of his that the Jarvis family has also returned. Kumalo explains what Absalom did and tells his friend to tell others.

Kumalo goes to the church where he is the pastor. The people, who have already gathered, ask Kumalo to pray for them, and he does so. Kumalo prays for rain and forgiveness, and then he asks them to welcome Gertrude's son and Absalom's wife as new members.

Difficult Conversations

After the service, Kumalo talks to his friend, whom he saw at the train station. Kumalo admits that he feels what happens to his family might mean he can no longer be the pastor of the church. The friend encourages him that everyone in the village loves their pastor.

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