Roots: The Saga of an American Family Chapter 39 Summary

Alex Haley

Chapter 39 Summary

The prisoners who survive the storm no longer have the strength to attack. Kunta sees the look of death on many who are around him. Still, Kunta and the others are now left up on deck for a long period of time, for even the white men have fallen ill under the strain and in the storms. The sun makes Kunta feel a little bit better.

After the men are forced back into the hold, the first of two horrible sicknesses grips the ship: fever, coughing, swollen glands, and night sweats. More people die and are thrown overboard. More medicine is given. Those who give strength to other men, fostering communication, die. There is no more hope. Even Kunta's shacklemate passes away and lies rigid beside Kunta.

Upon his next...

(The entire section is 525 words.)