Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton and Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton and Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

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Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe both encompass many different aspects of the effects political unrest conveys on society. An entire society does not change easily, and uprooting customs all at once, and replacing them with something unlike customs previously established, does not resonate well with the members of that society. Although an individual can willingly change with little hesitancy, that one person does not represent the whole. On the other hand, when others are introduced to new customs, the transition overwhelms them. The tensions of societal change that the characters of Cry, the Beloved Country and Things Fall Apart confront consist of so-called crimes committed, the environmental circumstances, and their willingness and unwillingness to abide by the new rules.
Along Absalom’s journeys to places all throughout South Africa, he is accused of deliberately shooting Arthur Jarvis with his revolver. His cousin Matthew, and friend Johannes were also present at the time of the crime, but deny being part of the matter at hand when the courts begin to take control Absalom’s case. When the judge asks Absalom to speak, he says:

This man was afraid. He saw my revolver. He stood back against the sink where he was working. He said, what do you want? Johannes said, we want money and clothes. This man said, you cannot do such a thing. Johannes said, do you want to die? This man was afraid and did not speak. Johannes said when I speak, people must tremble;… (Paton 193)

Johannes portrays to Arthur that he should be in fear of him, offering the idea that he believed he held power over this individual, in this case, to take the innocent man’s life. The judge involved in the case d...

... middle of paper ... by which to live. An individual confronts many challenges in society, whether it be crime and punishment, struggle to grow, or other rapid modifications. Cry, The Beloved Country and Things Fall Apart exemplify how societies can be disrupted and how people react to interruptions to their traditional way of life. Some choose to adapt to society’s new ways, while others resist assimilating themselves with the innovative public. Societal change happens no matter where you are, however, how someone allows it to affect them remains determined by that person. Society maintains their own way of punishment, production of a particular type of person, and causes some to prevent from adapting to its evolving ways.

Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor, 1994. Print.
Paton, Alan. Cry, the Beloved Country. New York, NY: Scribner, 2003. Print.

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