Roots: The Saga of an American Family Chapter 43 Summary

Alex Haley

Chapter 43 Summary

Kunta is excited at first as he runs and runs through the forest of brambles and thorns. However, it isn’t long before Kunta comes to yet another set of fields with another white house beside it. Kunta realizes that he has simply run through a tiny patch of forest in between two identical toubob farms. He panics and, as dawn breaks, desperately tries to find the most inconspicuous place among the bushes to hide.

Within minutes, he hears the first howling dog. Then he hears a second one even closer. Kunta scrambles to find a more secluded place in the deepest thicket of thorny bushes. It isn’t long before a cluster of dogs, toubob, and blacks is upon him. The dogs spring up at him to knock him down and snap close to his face, but they don’t bite Kunta. The driver whom Kunta choked the night before towers over the dogs with fury on his face. Kunta is given a heavy blow to his head that subdues him and is made to walk to the forest’s edge. The group strings Kunta up to the nearest tree and whips him until he is unconscious.

When Kunta finally comes to, he notices that he is bound inside a hut with all of his limbs shackled. While lying there, Kunta hears a “strange-sounding horn” that calls the black people back from the fields. They shuffle by the cabin where Kunta is shackled. Kunta soon smells food cooking. The driver brings some of the food in to Kunta. Kunta realizes that the meat comes from a pig (which is revolting to a Muslim) and vomits all over the food. Kunta spends the night praying to Allah for forgiveness if he ever mistakenly eats the meat of a pig or even eats off of a plate that ever held pig meat.

In the morning, Kunta Kinte again hears the strange horn sound and smells food cooking again. When the driver returns again, after his own breakfast, and realizes that Kunta won’t eat the food, the driver roughly smears it onto Kunta’s face and leaves another plate. The next person to enter is the white man who bought Kunta to this place. The white man threatens, through gestures, to beat Kunta again if he doesn’t eat. Kunta picks up a small amount of earth from where the white man stood to whisper an evil curse on the toubob and his family.