“The tragedy is not that things are broken. The tragedy is that things are not mended again.” (Paton 56). Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton is a novel about life in South Africa after European countries came and colonized it. This novel shows the injustice, racism, and the depleting native life and culture of South Africa. Alan Paton presents to his readers the simple life in the country and then the urbanized life in the city. This novel is unique compared to others in how it includes intercalary chapters and sections throughout the whole novel. The intercalary writing style Alan Paton used, is able to show the reader the reality of the society, shape the tone of the story, and the main plot.
Intercalary chapters allow the reader to take a step back from the plot and to get a glimpse of the actual reality of the society. In doing so the reader is then able to have a perspective on the plot in knowing more about the history. They end up understanding the injustices going on in the story based on background information read. “In fact it provides a keen insight into the problems facing South African society at the time, an informed and subtle understanding of contemporaneous socio-political debates, and a sensitive appraisal of the possibilities for the country 's restoration on a number of different levels” (Andrew Foley, " 'Considered as a Social Record ': A Reassessment of Cry, the Beloved Country). Chapter 9 in Cry, The Beloved Country has a great use of the intercalary sections. In this chapter it shows how overpopulated the city of Johannesburg is. “Have you a room that you could let? No, I have no room. Have you a room you could let? It is let already…” (Paton 83). Shown here is when Mr. Kumalo...
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...y in Johannesburg but in all of South Africa. The reader is able to understand how it is the country that is crying because of the all the things that have dismantled the culture of the country and not just the people.
The intercalary writing style Alan Paton used is able to show the reader the reality of the society, shape the tone of the story, and the main plot. There are many different elements that add up to making this story very impactful. And the reasons listed above are just a few of those elements. Getting to read how the society worked and how people were treated really added to the authenticity of the story and the takeaway factor that the story brings. Cry, The Beloved County is a novel that comes out with the truth about injustice and corruption and it can be a lesion in years to come how to avoid those two things in the society expanding each day.
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