- “Happy the eyes that can close.” Chapter 2
The narrator’s comment on finding peace in a troubled society.
- “I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating.” Chapter 7
Rev. Msimangu speaks of his fears about future relations between black and white people in South Africa.
- “Who indeed knows the secret of the earthly pilgrimage? Who indeed knows why there can be comfort in a world of desolation?” Chapter 10
Stephen Kumalo’s thoughts during his stay in Johannesburg.
- “Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much.” Chapter 12
The narrator conveys his disquiet at the condition of his country, South Africa.
- “The tribe was broken, and would be mended no more.” Chapter 13
Stephen Kumalo’s realization after he discovers the depths to which his sister and son have sunk in Johannesburg.
- “The truth is that our society is not Christian; it is a tragic compound of great ideal and fearful practice, of high assurance and desperate anxiety, of loving charity and fearful clutching of possession. Allow me a minute. . . .” Chapter 21
The last words of the manuscript Arthur Jarvis was working on a few moments before he was murdered.
- “No second Johannesburg is needed upon the earth. One is enough.” Chapter 23
The narrator’s comment on the idea that another great city will arise in South Africa following the discovery of gold in Odendaalrust.<
- “In the deserted harbour, there is yet water that laps against the quays. In the dark and silent forest there is a leaf that falls. Behind the polished panelling the white ant eats away the wood. Nothing is ever quiet, except for fools.” Chapter 26
The narrator comments on the complacency of white South Africans after the mineworkers’ strike ends.
- “Pain and suffering, they are a secret. Kindness and love, they are a secret. But I have learned that kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering.” Chapter 30
Kumalo’s thoughts expressed to his friend on his return to Ndotsheni.
- “For it is the dawn that has come, as it has come for a thousand centuries, never failing. But when that dawn will come, of our emancipation, from the fear of bondage and the bondage of fear, why, that is a secret.” Chapter 36
Kumalo’s final thoughts at dawn on the mountain.