Comparing Cry the Beloved Country and To Kill a Mockingbird

Comparing Cry the Beloved Country and To Kill a Mockingbird

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Did you know that there are many similarities between the characters in the books To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton? Everyone has many character traits, sometimes sharing traits with another person, as the people in Cry, the Beloved Country share traits with the people in To Kill a Mockingbird. In both of these books there are characters that have the traits of being caring, non-prejudice, and innocence.
One of the main traits shared between these two books is being non-prejudice. The main character in To Kill a Mockingbird is Atticus, father of Scout and Jem, and Arthur Jarvis in Cry, the Beloved Country. Although Atticus demonstrated how un-prejudice he is many times, a few stood out. “‘Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public street’” (Lee 46). This shows that Atticus treats everyone the same, whether it be his own children or someone he sees in town. “‘You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women-black of white. Buy this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men.’” (Lee 204). This part of Atticus’ speech begins with him saying something that by itself would be racist, buy what he says after shows that he believes is true in Negroes he also believes to be true in all races of man, once again showing that he doesn’t judge by color of skin. “‘From the Bishop, and the Acting Prime Minister, and the Mayor, and from dozens of others, And from native organizations too, something called the Daughters of Africa, and a whole lot of others that I can’t remember, And from coloured people, and Indians, and Jews.’” (Paton 171). This shows how Arthur Jarvis is un-prejudice because people of all races sent messages, showing that they respected him because he treated everyone equally. “‘It is true that we hoped to preserve the tribal system by a policy of segregation. That was permissible. Buy we never did it thoroughly of honestly. We set aside one-tenth of the land for four-fifths of the people. Thus we made it inevitable, and some say we did it knowingly, that labour would come to the towns. We are caught in the toils of our own selfishness.’” (Paton 179).

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This proves that Arthur is non-prejudice because he wrote that the white people were selfish in giving so little land to so many people, meaning he thought the Africans had rights too.
Another trait that is found in both books is innocence. In To Kill a Mockingbird this trait is mostly found in Scout, and in Cry, the Beloved Country Stephen possesses this trait the most. “‘Don’t you remember me, Mr. Cunningham? I’m Jean Louise Finch. You brought us some hickory nuts one time, remember?’” (Lee 153). This quote comes from where Scout is unknowingly interrupting an angry mob. This proves she possesses the trait of innocence because she has no idea that he is there to kill Tom Robinson. “‘… he was rich chocolate with flaring nostrils and beautiful teeth.’” (Lee 161). This quote shows that Scout is innocent of “Maycomb’s usual disease”, which is racism because she isn’t seeing the boy she is describing as below her because he’s black. Instead she sees him as how he is. “‘Is this Johannesburg? he asks. But they laugh confidently…That is nothing they say.’” (Paton 46). This shows that he has innocence because he has no idea of Johannesburg’s enormous size. “‘Where is the ticket office, my friend? What ticket office, umfundisi? For the ticket for the bus. You get your ticket on the bus. There is no ticket office…I gave a pound to a young man, he said, and he told me he would get my ticket at the ticket office. You have been cheated umfundisi.’” (Paton 49). That Stephen possesses the trait of innocence is proven by this quote because Stephen gave money to a person he didn’t know, only to have the person run away with it. This also proves his innocence because it shows that he doesn’t know how the buses work and he didn’t know that there would be a lot of crime.
Another prominent trait shared between these two books is kindness. In To Kill a Mockingbird Calpurnia, the Finch families’ housekeeper, has a lot of kindness. “‘Lemonade time! You all get in outa that hot sun ‘fore you fry alive!’” (Lee 38). Cal is being kind here by bringing them out lemonade and telling them to get out of the sun because it’s hot out. “‘How’d you and Mister Jem like to come to church with me tomorrow’” (Lee 117). This proves that Calpurnia is kind because she is offering to take Jem and Scout to church with her. As Cal is kind, so is Msimangu, from Cry, the Beloved Country. “‘Kumalo said humbly, maybe you will pray for me. I shall do it gladly. My Brother, I have of course my work to do, but so long as you are here, my hands are yours.”’ (Paton 116). This shows Msimangu’s kindness because he is offering his help to Stephen with no pay. “‘I should like to help you in this, says Msimangu. It would be my joy to help you.’” (Paton 116). Msimangu is being kind by offering to help pay the cab fare.
In the books To Kill a Mockingbird and Cry, the Beloved Country there are characters with the traits kindness, non-prejudice and innocence. The character pairs having these traits the most are Calpurnia and Msimangu, Stephen and Scout and Atticus and Arthur Jarvis having the traits of kindness, innocence and non-prejudice, respectfully.



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