I do not say we are free here. I do not say we are free as men should be. But at least I am free of the chief. At least I am free of an old and ignorant man, who is nothing but a white man’s dog.
John explains to Kumalo that while he can never be truly free as a black man living in South Africa, he feels more free in Johannesburg because there is no chief to dictate his actions. Since black people are living in a world of institutionalized racism, they will take whatever freedoms they can get, even while knowing their freedom doesn’t compare to a white person’s freedom.
Up here on the tops is a small and lovely valley, between two hills that shelter it. There is a house there, and flat ploughed fields; they will tell you that it is one of the finest farms of this countryside. It is called High Place, the farm and dwelling-place of James Jarvis, Esquire, and it stands high above Ndotsheni, and the great valley of the Umzimkulu.
As the narrator explains what the home of James Jarvis looks like, readers get a picture of not only wealth and prosperity as compared to Kumalo and others in Ndotsheni but also a sense of freedom as Jarvis and his family sit above and far away from the oppressed black people. As a white man, James Jarvis enjoys far more freedom than any black person in South Africa, demonstrated by not only his lifestyle but also his home.