The opening lines are repeated in chapter 18, which begins book 2.
The melodic description of the land is now in reference to the whites’ partition of South Africa, namely, James Jarvis. The openness and vitality of the land offer a sheer contrast to the depiction contained in book 1.
This section focuses on the native soil of the blacks, Kumalo in particular.
It is difficult to maintain the beauty and fertility of the land when the tribal natives head for the promises of the city. This deterioration is further illustrated in the shantytowns dishearteningly discovered by Kumalo as he enters Johannesburg.
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But things got considerably worse before they got better.
In 1948, when the novel was first published, the Nationalist Party came to power and created the system of strict racial segregation known as apartheid.
As noted previously, the novel’s three sections structurally suggest the two different worlds of Africans and Europeans, then offer a solution and a hope in the third book in the coming together of the two fathers.
The safe, calm village life of Kumalo and the farm life of Jarvis parallel the city life in Johannesburg, a city of evil, corruption, and moral inequities for both blacks and whites.