Summary

“The Old Chief Mshlanga” by Doris Lessing tells the story of an English girl. She is brought up in Africa and, in her early childhood, her memories of the English landscape overlap with her impressions of the African countryside. From a young age, she adopts the prejudiced, racist attitude of her parents with regards to natives and assumes that white people are entitled to be in that unnamed part of Africa. She mocks black children and enjoys taking her gun and her two dogs when she walks around her property to scare off black people.

At the age of fourteen, the girl meets Old Chief Mshlanga, a native tribal leader who used to own the whole area. The man’s pride and respect make the girl gradually change her opinion of natives and reconsider her prejudiced ideas. As a result, she begins to be more friendly towards the natives she meets.

One day, the protagonist discovers that the chief’s son is working as their cook. While she is curious ...

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