In Cry, the Beloved Country how does the author use ch. 13 to present the main theme of the novel?
During this chapter, and Kumalo's "retreat" to Ezenzeleni with Msimangu, we see Kumalo's response to the great grief that he feels on his discovery of his son and what has happened to his family, and how the tribe has been destroyed. Yet, at the same time, we also see Kumalo's great resilience and re-invigoration to go back and face the situation that he is planted in.
At the beginning of the chapter, Kumalo is literally deadened with grief and shock, not engaging with conversation with Msimangu, and just craving solitude: "the older man was little inclined for speech, and showed little interest in anything around him." However, through his time here and the sermon of Msimangu, Paton shows how through Christianity the novel indicates how individuals can find purpose and resolution through their sorrow. This is a reminder that Christianity provides us with faith that there is a divine plan and therefore purpose in the apparent evil chaos of the world's events.
This chapter therefore shows the courage of man and the resilience that humanity can have against great adversity, and the role that Christianity can play in empowering us to face what often appear to be impossible situations.