Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Cry, the Beloved Country In South Africa, Alan Paton wrote a novel entitled Cry, the Beloved Country. The novel was published in New York by Charles Scribner Sons in 1948. The book was also published by Jonathan Cape in London…
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The novel’s setting is in South Africa. This article will review a clear plot of the novel by including some short text quotes. The essay will also discuss some of the themes portrayed by the main character in the novel. The novel was published before the apartheid system was implemented in South Africa. Basing on the book, one can tell that the village dwellers led a desolate life. The setting of the story is in South Africa where the main themes of the book are presented. Paton portrays the book as a social gripe against the societal structures that later led to the rise of apartheid (Paton 1). In his view, he tries to establish a purposeful analysis of what is entailed in the black society. According to his judgment, the black society endured from moral concerns and social volatility while, on the other hand, the whites were affected by native crime. These factors were influenced by the breakdown of the tribal organization, crime and migration of individuals to urban centers (Paton 1). The book’s chronicles reveal Paton’s message through themes like reconciliation, inequality, injustice and Christianity. Paton clearly reveals how reconciliation between members of a family is of vitality in reuniting the family members. On the one hand, inequity and injustice are based on the same category whereby, these issues are prevalent in the setting of the book. Paton presents the village life as desolate since the local government was not funding community projects in the area. In essence, the whites had brought tragedy to their homeland. Paton states “The tragedy is not that things are broken. The tragedy is that they are not mended again. The white man has broken the tribe” (Paton 23). This was a revelation of how tragic the whites had turned out to be even in countries inhabited by the Africans. In addition, Paton also features on the detrimental effects of the characters fear in relation with the South African society. He presents the fear in his characters in chapter 12 where he says, “For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much”. Even though fear is prevalent in this society, some characters were able to overcome it through their abilities. The portrayal of Stephen Kumalo in the novel depicts his courageous nature while facing worldly challenges. This can be established from his search of Gertrude; his immoral sister, and his son who was involved in murder and other shameful acts in the city of Johannesburg. The book presents this as a journey for Stephen when Paton writes “The journey had begun. And now the fear back again, the fear of the unknown, the fear of the great city where boys were killed crossing the street, the fear of Gertrude’s sickness” (Paton 13). The narrator shows the Christian religion in the novel as a significant theme that was incorporated in the strangles of injustice. This reveals quite a vital lesson to readers in general. The presentation of Christianity in the setting of this publication was unjust and also resulted from the invasion of the whites in the country. Even though the religion factor helped characters like Stephen to face tremendous hardships, the religious world was incorporated in unjust ways. Paton is quick to reveal the unjust acts involved in Christianity. He notes that the black priests were paid less wages as compared to whites. This reveals that even though the white priests were living luxurious lives, they were rooted in injustice. These acts had placed the needy community in the wrong leadership hands. In
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