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Cry, the Beloved Country

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Elisa Klaassen

on 28 October 2014

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Transcript of Cry, the Beloved Country

Cry, the Beloved Country
Plot Summary:
Plot Summary
Near the end of the book, Kumalo and Jarvis work together to rebuild the village of Ndotsheni, one step at a time.
helps get milk to a sick infant
pays to build a well
hires agricultural instructor to teach the people how to properly farm
prays for community
helps people in his Church
adopts nephew, daughter-in-law, and unborn grandchild
Thesis Statement
Cry, the Beloved Country
, Alan Paton employed
rich tone
strong characterization
, and
simple dialogue
to illustrate a shift between love and hate, proving that "kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering."

Plot Summary:
Main Character: Stephen Kumalo
Reverend in village of Ndotsheni
The family members who have disappeared into Johannesburg:
John, his brother
Gertrude, his sister
Absalom, his son

Plot Summary:
Kumalo and his beloved friend Msimangu search for Kumalo's missing family members throughout the vast city of Johannesburg
South African society has changed all of Kumalo's previously simple, pious relatives into evildoers:

John: corrupt politician
Gertrude: prostitute/liquor-seller (who now has a child)
Absalom: burglar/murderer
Plot Summary:
James Jarvis:
Arthur's father and Kumalo's neighbor

Plot Summary
Overall, Cry, the Beloved Country is the story of a white man and a black man who came together to fix a tragic situation. Not only was the land wasting away, but the people and the tribal culture was as well.
Thesis Statement
Cry, the Beloved Country
by Alan Paton, the author utilized
powerful symbolism
poetic diction
, and
biblical allusions
to establish a shift between justice and injustice, proving that all people are equal.
Thesis Statement
Cry, the Beloved Country
, Alan Paton used
vivid imagery
descriptive figurative

, and
alluring setting
to convey a shift between beauty and ugliness, proving that if one "destroys (the land), man is destroyed."
by Alan Paton
Alan Paton
Born in Pietermaritzburg, Natal Province of South Africa
Became teacher and eventually the principal of a reformatory for poor South African boys
Was known for being infuriated by vicious cycle of racial injustice in South Africa
Became a political activist and writer later in life
Paton published
Cry, the Beloved Country
in Dec. 1948
He became involved in the Liberal Party of South Africa before it was disbanded in 1968 because of the country's apartheid beliefs
Paton's Writing Style
Captivates reader's emotions

Paton also used hyphens before each line of dialogue. This unique style is an adaptation of John Steinbeck's use of the hyphen in Grapes of Wrath.
-My child, my child.
-Yes, my father.
-At last I have found you.
-Yes, my father.
-And it is too late.
Absalom's Crime:
Along with two friends (one being his cousin), Absalom murdered a white man named Arthur Jarvis out of fear and surprise. Absalom received the death penalty for his crime.
Regrets not knowing more about his son's passions for rebuilding the broken society
Tries to make up for missing the majority of his son's life by reading Arthur's books and writings to try to understand his passions
Decides to treat Kumalo with love and respect despite the tragic circumstances
South Africa
Gold discovered in South Africa in 1886
Outsiders flocked into South Africa
Political chaos ensued
Afrikaner Nationalist Party introduced apartheid--the Afrikaans term for separateness
Black people, though in the majority, were considered inferior
Consequences of Apartheid:
Blacks left their homelands and their tribal culture behind in search of wealth and power. With no one to take care of it, the countryside was laid to waste
Blacks were unable to gain wealth or power. Therefore, in order to survive, they had to become criminals, burglars, and sinners, despite their beliefs. This reinforced the idea that blacks were inferior and innately evil.
Arthur Jarvis was a political activist who sought to heal the broken South African society and fight against racial injustice. Ironically, he was killed by the very people whom he was trying to help.
The church in Ndotsheni represents Stephen Kumalo. Thought it is a humble structure and has leaks in the roof, it still continues to do its best to help the people and provide shelter for them. Kumalo is also humble and plain; though he is not perfect, he does his best.
Paton's Choice of Biblical Names
King David's son; rebelled against his father by sinning; was killed for his sin; his father mourned him despite his rebellion
The first martyr of Christianity; humbly sacrificed himself for his beliefs
Great orator and influential disciple of Christ
-Au! umfundisi.
-I am sorry, my friend.
-This world is full of trouble, umfundisi.
-Who knows it better?
-Yet you believe?
-I believe.
Pg. 260
"The great red hills stand desolate, and the earth has torn away like flesh. The lightning flashes over them, the clouds pour down upon them, the dead streams come to life, full of the red blood of the earth."
"Yes-it was true, then. He had admitted it to himself. The tribe was broken, and would be mended no more. He bowed his head. It was as though a man borne upward into the air felt suddenly the wings of miracle dropped away from him, so that he looked down upon the earth, sick with fear and apprehension. The tribe was broken, and could be mended no more."
"From Ixopo the toy train climbs up into other hills, the green rolling hills of Lufafa, Eastwolds, Donnybrook. From Donnybrook the broad-gauge runs to the great valley of the Umkomaas. Here the tribes live, and the soil is sick, almost beyond healing...the train climbs up through hills lovely beyond any singing of it."
"They rise when the party approaches, and one breaks into a hymn, with a high note that cannot be sustained; but others come in underneath it, and support and sustain it...it is a hymn of thanksgiving, and man remembers God in it...it echoes in the bare red hills and over the bare red fields of the broken tribe. And it is sung in love and humility and gratitude, and the humble simple people pour their lives in the song."
Natural Setting
Cultural Setting
Full transcript