Even though this small village is being destroyed by a drought, there is still more of a sense of unity and a quality of life about it than was found in the impersonal city. Paton refers to the valley as a waste land but lets the reader know that there is no waste land of the spirit here. The manner in which Kumalo is accepted indicates a stronger and a more humane relationship than existed in the city. Kumalo, himself, thinks that he should leave because of the disgrace brought about by other members of his family, but his followers respect him for the suffering he has endured. Kumalo has also learned that kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering. In his return home, he finds all the love and respect that was missing in the larger city where he endured so much pain and suffering. Kumalo is strengthened by his memories of Msimangu. He calls him "the best man of all my days."
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